Creativity Creates What?

by Jay Deragon on 07/19/2010

Creativity FactorsNews Corp. Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch  said:“We’re only at the beginning of two of the most profound social and economic trends of our age–globalization and digitization.”

Murdoch’s often refers to the success of News Corp being centered around creativity for the globalization and digitization in the new economy.

The emergence of a new economies are being fueled by creativity coming from small crowds with the intent of disrupting the thinking of the old crowd.

What Drives Creativity?

Creative companies understand the “laws of increasing returns in the new economy driven by a networked world”. Metcalfe’s law (“The value of a network increases exponentially as its users increase arithmetically”) and the law of increasing returns (“The more who use social networks, the more attractive networks become”). Social technology illustrates the third corollary of increasing returns: how small signals can suddenly become booms.

The social web encourages the successful to be yet more successful. The social web creates the tendency for those which are ahead to get further ahead; for those which loses advantage to lose further advantage.

Economist Brian Arthur discovered that when technological competitors were modeled in a computer, increasing returns favored one technology over the other—to the eventual demise of the unfortunate one . And “unfortunate” is the right word. According to Arthur’s research, the technology that came to dominate, thanks to increasing returns, was not necessarily the superior one. It was just the lucky one. Or the early one. Arthur writes: “If a product or a company or a technology—one of many competing in a market—gets ahead by chance or clever strategy, increasing returns can magnify this advantage, and the product or company can go on to lock in the market.”

Kevin Kelly writesBeing first or best sometimes helps, but not always. The outcome of competition in a network is not determined solely by the abilities of the competitors, but by tiny differences, including luck, that are greatly magnified by the power of positive feedback loops. The fate of competition is “path dependent” on minor nudges and hurdles that can “tip” the system in one direction or another. Final destiny cannot be predicted by exceptional attributes alone.”

The internet was a lonely (but thrilling!) cultural backwater for two decades before it showed up on the media radar. A graph of the number of internet hosts worldwide, starting in the 1970s, stays barely above the bottom line, until around 1991, when the global tally of hosts suddenly mushroomed, exponentially acting up to take over the world.”

“The curves of Microsoft, the internet, fax machines and FedEx  are templates of exponential growth, compounding in a biological way. Such curves are almost the definition of a biological system. That’s one reason the network economy is often described most accurately in biological terms.

“Indeed, if the web feels like a frontier, it’s because for the first time in history we are witnessing biological growth in technological systems.”

A New Order of Things to Come

Individuals from around the world are tapping into the power and opportunities presented by the mediums of social technology.  Leveraging the opportunities of the networked world is largely driven by creativity on the fringes of change and not by application of old knowledge to a new technological system.

Traditional business models and mindsets do not work in the new economy. The old creates conflict with the new because it doesn’t understand the nature nor the medium. A pebble of creativity can create a wave of change. Consider the story of David and Goliath. The giant was taken down by a boy who used a pebble of creativity.


{ 22 comments }

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