Thursday, September 25, 2008

Reversing familiar ways of working stimulates creativity

During my last painting class, we did an excercise painting our model in negative (black= white and vice versa), a very good exercise that turns your thinking and way of looking at a model upside down. When I reversed later, it took some time to get used to 'normal' painting.

At Picnic, I was suddenly asked to interview Werner Vogels, the CTO of for the Picnic daily newspaper. We had only 5 minutes, I didn't have a clue who he was, so I proposed to do it with someone together, so Kerim Satirli and I worked together. My 'normal' interview mode is to listen to a person for a long time (eg. during a presentation or conversation), understand his view and then do an informed interview. In this case, we were advised to ask personal questions about his Picnic experience. Soon we found out the question: 'what's an idea that struck you so far?' didn't work because he had just arrived! Reflecting back, I think Werner might have been surprised that I asked him questions like 'what brings you to Picnic' when he is invited as keynote speaker :). But that may be refreshing too (hopefully!). The rest was improvisation.
The collaboration worked out well, without knowing eachother since Kerim knew the context better than I did, he had a video camera, I had a laptop, I started the questions and he added another one.

You can find our interview on the weblog of Kerim Satirli, the video will be there too- soon. The most interesting thing he said was that the way social media enterprises start is changing so rapidly, you don't need a lot of money to start something. On the other hand, everyone seems to want to design the next youtube or facebook and there needs to be more attention for sustainable models. I feel very much like a newcomer here, because I'm not a start-up, but rather a user of social media! (and not knowing the heros of the crowd like Werner Vogels..)

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