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Have you ever read the non-fiction book, Creativity: The Perfect Crime by Phillipe Petit[^]?
It's really good because it will honestly make you think about all kinds of things differently.
The writing is fantastic and the stories are extremely interesting.
Of course, Petit is the guy who strung a wire between the World Trade Centers in 197x-something and walked the tightrope.
Because I read the book, I wanted to see the movie about that, and it too is honestly a great movie, with great acting and the story of The Walk will keep you riveted to your seat.
Watch the movie after you read some of the book. However, my wife did not know anything about Petit and she really liked the movie too.
Watch The Walk movie trailer[^].
True story: my sister in law called to ask me a stupid question about how to print something from her phone. She has one of those all-in-one printers with a scanner so I (sarcastically) suggested she place the phone on the scanner and hit copy. I didn't think she would actually try it!
Now that I think about it, I've never had a need to print anything from my phone...but maybe I don't use mine to it's full capabilities.
That is exactly how I felt when I originally heard about him walking between the two buildings.
I also read his book on a whim and in some ways to just point out how ridiculous it was.
Then I read his book on Creativity and I really liked how he thinks. He looks at things from many angles.
Tight-rope Walking Between Trade Center Towers
Now, you've thought about it abstractly, like "ok big deal, so you do some stupid stunt that is dangerous".
But really think about everything you'd have to do to get to the point where you could walk on a wire between two buildings 90 stories up.
First of all you have to be able to confidently walk a tight rope. This is not a skill you build over night.
Next, you have to figure out how to get the wire between the two buildings without authorities noticing.
How do you get access? How do you get the wire installed so it is safe enough?
That's The Creativity Part
You see, in some ways you saw the task like a manager does : as some abstract thing that has no point and/or "should be easy enough".
But when you have to look at the task as the person who is actually building the thing then the thing becomes something completely different.
In other words, managers often only see only the bottom line and a have a "get it done" attitude so they cannot understand that some creative tasks are more difficult than others.
Meanwhile, we who are on the ground building the thing know the intimate details of how difficult it actually is to install a wire between two buildings so it is so sturdily installed that a life can actually depend upon it.
Then, layer on top of that, all the human fears, doubts, interpersonal actions and the rest and you see there is much more to building a thing or walking on a tight rope than some stupid trick.
This is the part that is about "thinking differently".
I've been building a device which is a Arudino nano, 20x4 LCD screen, and a bluetooth module and an SD card reader. I have it running and I showed my wife that I can send text from my Android phone to the little device and the message will show up on the screen and write the message to a file on the microSD card.
It takes about 20 seconds to demo but it took me a few days to get it all working -- LCD screens are a pain.
Anyways, my wife saw the demo and said, "but why would you need to do that?"
Answer: "Because I can!...and wasn't sure I could...and because someone else can't!"
I learned tons doing that and it will be appear in an article here sometime.
No problem. It's all good.
I try to find inspiration towards creative work wherever I can and when I find it I like to share it with others. I was amazed that the movie based on the ridiculous idea of walking on the tightrope between two buildings could be so good and be so inspirational. Also, my wife, who really dislikes documentaries liked the movie too. We were both amazed that a story where you know the outcome (that he does indeed walk between the buildings could keep us on the edge of our seats like that one did.
It's directed by Robert Zemeckis (sp?) who is a really great director.