Blinkist : Books Summary

Blinkist : Books Summary

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The Creative Curve
Part of 7/18

considered hopelessly dated. Why? Because this form of artistic expression would’ve already been explored hundreds of years earlier. Therefore it’s important to recognize that geniuses are often a product of their time rather than universally brilliant individuals.
The creative curve describes our paradoxical desire for both familiarity and novelty.
What makes us like some things and turn away from others? The answer to this difficult question might be found by looking at the fortunes of a clothing brand. In 2009 popular tattoo artist Don Ed Hardy sold the rights to his designs to a fashion company and soon Ed Hardy clothing became the must-have celebrity item. Before the end of the year the brand had sold $700 million in clothes and accessories. Everyone everywhere seemed to be wearing Ed Hardy.
But then something strange happened. By the end of 2009 Ed Hardy clothing had become an embarrassing cliché and sales had tanked. Why did it go so wrong?
The fortunes of the Ed Hardy
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The Creative Curve
Part of 8/18

clothing brand are a perfect example of what the author has deemed the creative curve . The creative curve describes our paradoxical preference for both familiarity and novelty.
Research indicates that the more familiar we are with something the more we like it.
For instance researchers at the University of Michigan conducted a study in which participants were shown a number of made-up Chinese characters. They were told that each character represented either a positive or a negative adjective. Researchers then exposed participants to each of these characters either a greater or fewer number of times. When asked afterward the participants overwhelmingly thought that the characters they’d seen more often represented something positive while those they’d seen less often stood for something negative.
The researchers concluded that the more familiar we are with something the more positive associations we have with it. This explains the explosion in popularity of Hardy’s clothing brand th
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The Creative Curve
Part of 9/18

roughout 2009. As people saw it more and more often they developed positive associations with it in turn driving up sales.
But why did people stop buying Ed Hardy clothing as quickly as they did? This can be explained by the flipside of the creative curve – our desire for novelty.
Researchers have discovered that in addition to our desire for familiarity we also have a counter-desire for novelty. One study found that once participants had been played a song eight times they began to like it less and less each time they heard it. This phenomenon explains the rise and fall of the Ed Hardy clothing brand. People liked the clothes more when they began to see them more often but as soon as they became ubiquitous their desire for novelty kicked in and they quickly ditched them.
Maximising your cultural consumption is key to understanding the creative curve.
In 1982 a small video rental store in Arizona became wildly popular with film enthusiasts. But the long queues that formed every
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The Creative Curve
Part of 5/18

ite what you may have heard Darwin was not the only person to develop the theory of natural selection. That honor also goes to one of Darwin’s contemporaries Alfred Wallace. But unfortunately history has all but forgotten Wallace while Darwin is celebrated for his genius.
This should give us pause for thought. Are those we deem geniuses really so unique and special? Arguably there were other factors that give them their lauded status.
Timing plays a big role when it comes to who society deems a genius.
Indeed the world remembers Charles Darwin more than it does Wallace because of Darwin’s canny sense of urgency. In 1858 upon hearing that Wallace was working on the very same theory that he was Darwin quickly arranged for a presentation of his ideas to the Linnean Society – an important scientific institution – thereby appearing as if he were the primary driving force behind the theory of evolution. And Wallace? He was in no rush to take credit for what was as much his idea as it was
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The Creative Curve
Part of 6/18

Darwin’s choosing instead to sail around the world for several more years before publishing his own account of the theory. By the time he finally returned home Darwin’s 1859 book The Origin of The Specie s had already been published and Darwin had written himself into the scientific history books forever.
Timing also creates geniuses in a broader sense too in that geniuses are inextricably linked to their historical context.
Take the pop artist Andy Warhol – often considered one of the creative geniuses of the twentieth century. Imagine if he had created his masterpieces during the Italian Renaissance. Would he still have been thought of as a genius? It’s more likely he would have been labeled as a heretic and his works destroyed before future generations had a chance to appreciate them. Similarly what if that genius of the Renaissance Leonardo da Vinci had completed his priceless paintings in the era of pop art. Far from being thought of as a creative genius his work would have been
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The Creative Curve
Part of 3/18

score was no longer predictive of their divergent thinking abilities. A person with a genius-level IQ of 150 was no more likely to think of more solutions to a problem than someone with a more average IQ of 100. In other words beyond a relatively low threshold your overall intelligence makes no difference to your potential for creativity.
Around 80% of the world’s population has an IQ above this threshold of 86. Astoundingly this means that roughly three billion people are walking around with the same creative potential as the geniuses we are taught to idolize.
So how can more of us unlock this potential?
Research indicates that it all comes down to practice. But not just any type of practice – it must enable you to expand your skills and challenge yourself.
Studies by Professor K. Anders Ericsson of Florida State University have found that to become an expert in any field one must practice in a way that emphasizes tangible goals and continual feedback. When studying professional v
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The Creative Curve
Part of 4/18

iolinists Ericsson found that although all the violinists spent a similar number of hours practicing the most accomplished among them were more purposeful: The most expert performers would ensure that a teacher regularly listened to and critiqued their playing thus providing a feedback mechanism. They also asked their teachers to assign practice exercises they weren’t yet proficient at and worked on them until they became competent. In this way they always had clear goals to work toward.
So if you want to unleash your creative potential don’t just practice the same skills over and over again in isolation. Make it your mission to continually develop skills and seek regular feedback.
Becoming a genius requires impeccable timing and the right historical context.
Why do we consider some people geniuses? Charles Darwin for instance is often considered a genius for discovering natural selection. But dig a little deeper into the history of his discovery and all is not as it seems. Desp
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The Creative Curve
Part of 0/18

The Creative Curve

Allen Gannett

The Creative Curve (2018) provides valuable insights into the true nature of talent. Using examples from scientific research as well as anecdotal evidence from the careers of certified geniuses these blinks explore whether creative success is the result of unique inspiration or something far more predictable.
1/11/2019 6:12:42 PM
The Creative Curve
Part of 1/18

What’s in it for me? Learn the secrets of creative success.
Open the pages of a history book or stroll into a museum and it won’t be long before you come across men and women regarded as geniuses. People whose remarkable talents have helped shape the history of art literature and science. But how did these people become so accomplished in their creative fields and how can we emulate their success?
In these blinks we’ll explore the scientific and social underpinnings of success. We’ll go on a journey that looks at some of history’s geniuses – such as Leonardo da Vinci and Charles Darwin – and ask whether their success was down to unique inspiration convenient timing or merely good luck. We’ll look at the sorts of friends and teachers the most successful people had by their side and explore the hidden phenomenon behind many successful products and creative ideas: the creative curve .
In the following blinks you’ll discover
the surprising truth about the relationship between int
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The Creative Curve
Part of 2/18

elligence and creativity;
the reason why the most popular creative ideas are more familiar than they are original; and
how your friends influence your creative potential.
Creativity is fueled by purposeful practice not intelligence.
How creative would you say you are? If you want to find out start by trying to think of as many uncommon ways you could use a hairdryer as possible. One idea might be to use it as a leaf blower. This exercise is a test of your ability for divergent thinking – the ability to find multiple solutions to a problem. Divergent thinking is strongly associated with creativity. In other words the more ways you thought of using that hairdryer the more creative potential you probably have.
Looking at people’s divergent thinking abilities has helped scientists understand the relationship between creativity and intelligence.  
In 2013 Austrian psychologists investigating creativity and intelligence found that once participants’ IQ scores went above 86 their
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