All Great Work–whether it is technologically astonishing or pounded by hand into clay tablets–Comes From the Same Place:

The heart.

Whatever does not come from the heart is mere information.

And therefore useless to us humans.

For we do not live on what is outside us, but inside us.

And this is important to the consideration of new technologies in what way, dear students?

This:

If you would do leading-edge technologically astonishing work, you must start with an idea.

An idea—if you would do great work—that makes a connection between your subject and the audience’s insides.

It is tempting when making ads to leave off doing the hard work of developing a concept so that one may more easily rush forward to fill in the blanks a software developer has dictated in order to give one’s work the scintillating effervescence of NEW!

But it is the path to mediocrity.

An example:

When the synthesizer was invented, plenty of composers rushed to use it in the hope it would give them a new sound.

Pete Townshend put it at the heart of The Who’s 1970 album Who’s Next with the same hope, surely.

But one huge difference.

He put the writing of the songs before the machine.

Which is why, 45 years later, they’re still played constantly on TV and radio while that of many of the other early adopters is not.

So you, too, dear students, get the order right.

Format is often touted as if it is by itself the answer.

But format matters only consequently to the idea.

Begin with the hard work of thinking and creating a concept that makes a connection between product and people, between tangible and intangible.

Then the astonishment in your work can come from the only place it can grow from that lasts:

The heart.

A tree does not grow into anything other than what the seed is made of.

 

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