Life in Perpetual Beta

The video above is an interview with Jim Coudal of that I found at a newish and excellent blog named . I found this blog via David Armano’s , a blog I have followed for some time and greatly enjoy. There are several great videos with individuals like Jim and David on Life in Perptetual Beta that seek perspective on things like creativity, design thinking, and authenticity. In the interview Jim talks about some of the consistent qualities he has experienced with creative people, including himself. Things like short attention spans, starting strong and finishing weak, and the all-consuming enthusiasm for discovery and inspiration. These qualities, to his point, are to be embraced as it is this make-up that sets creativity in motion. This would be absolutely consistent with my own experience not only working with exceptionally creative personalities and designers that I absolutely respect, but also with myself. It takes a different mindset to forage for inspiration and ideas than it does to methodically and consistently move something along. Process is not the mother of invention, after all.

Another great point revealed in the interview is that within any creative enterprise there is always a tension between the work that we are doing and the work that we want or need to be doing. Often, as an enterprise has success and grows there is a implied need to take on work that does not necessarily move the organization forward, but that helps to pay the bills, so to speak. Coudal gets this, and probably has learned a great deal from surfing this tension. In his interview he presents three questions to ask yourself about an opportunity:

  1. Will we make money from this.
  2. Will we be proud of our work.
  3. Will we learn something new along the way.

Three simple, sharp questions that get to the root of value creation and that can focus you on those opportunities for creativity, innovation, and invention. Three simple questions that can focus you on what you should be doing.

A fantastic line from the interview:

“I have a short attention span, but I pay really good attention in those short periods.”

Jim Coudal

5 Responses to “Life in Perpetual Beta”

  1. Says:

    Jim Coudal is one of my favorite interviews. Glad you like it.

  2. John Schneider Says:

    Hey Melissa, thanks for the comment. I’m subscribing to your feed so I can track the project. Very cool idea. Rock on.

  3. Says:

    Great and very true insights and thoughts on creative-minded people and the balance of work that inspires vs. pays the bills. Glad you passed on the link.

  4. Saul Bass and Clarity of Purpose | schneiderism Says:

    [...] a few weeks ago via Jim Coudal’s interview on Life in Perpetual Beta, and felt compelled to point them out. The three questions [...]

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