Creative LeadershipMedia Production

Could We Do Great Work Without Gadgets?

Do you need more gadgets to accomplish your work?  Walking through the British museum a few years ago looking at early copies of the Bible, I was reminded those early translators didn’t have Google, or any other sophisticated technology.  But they did remarkable work that lasts.  Back then I posted this quote from Hugh Macleod:

“There’s no correlation between creativity and equipment ownership. None. Zilch. Nada. Actually, as the artist gets more into his thing, and as he gets more successful, his number of tools tends to go down. He knows what works for him. Expending mental energy on stuff wastes time.”

What do you think?  Could you do great work with fewer gadgets?  If your mobile phone, laptop, pad, or Internet access was taken away tomorrow, how would that effect your impact on the world?

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6 Comments

  1. How limited a thought is that. So if I’m a creative guitar player I don’t need no stinking axe?

    If I’m a craftman of wood I only use one chisel or one hammer…I think not, i’d have all different weights of hammers and all kinds of chisels. It’s the novice that tries to accomplish with one tool, that the master knows requires mastery of many. For example: “Wood chisels range in size from 1/4″ to 2″ wide in 1/8″ graduations. They are available with wooden or plastic handles. Use a chisel about one half the width of the cut to be made. Thin cuts can be made by pushing by hand, heavier cuts are made by tapping on the end with a wooden mallet.” http://www.sawdustmaking.com/Chisels/wood_chisels.htm

    The idea here is that without the proper tools (in the 21st century), there would be no movies, no TV, no Music… If you don’t understand or keep up with the tools of your trade (AVID, PROTOOLS, Final Cut Pro, Mac, PC etc.), then you can try to edit with tape and 35mm film! GOOD LUCK getting work… Think about it.

    There might not be any correlation between creativity and equipment ownership, but that’s the difference between air guitar and actually signing autographs!

  2. So true….I used to need so many hardware gadgets and used to buy new apps all the time until my eyes opened to Apple’s line of products. Life is simple. A laptop that just works (for everything from email to Final Cut), an iPod for audio and video and…a clumsy Treo650 for all the rest..until the Apple iPhone arrives.

    God is good!

    George

  3. It’s interesting that in Eastern thought, it’s all about simplicity. The Bushido or Samuari warrior became a master at a preferred style of fighting. Yes, he learned them all and was well acquainted with multiple styles, but became a “master” at one style. From another perspective – the career perspective – it’s interesting that in the media business, the higher you climb, the more focused you become in one area. Steven Spielberg can certainly shoot, write, produce, edit, and direct. But as his career went higher and higher, he began to focus on directing. The bottom line is – do you want to be good with gadgets, or good with content? What’s your ultimate goal?

    As you climb the ladder of your career, I’ve noticed that in order to reach for the next rung, you have to let go of the last one.

    Yes – we need to know all the tools and how to use them. But do you want to get to the end of your life and realize you spent it mastering various PDA’s, or spent it mastering leadership, screenwriting, producing, or something else?

    — that’s my take.. Phil

  4. Many years ago I learned a basic management concept known as the Tomato Plant Problem.  (ModelNetics) The concept is that you have 6 tomato plants, but only water enough for 4 plants.  Do you water all 6 and allow them all to suffer, or do you cull out the weaker plants and allow the stronger to flourish?  I love my computers, and all its software, but I find that I do not have time or interest to learn them all very well.  So as I draw in and focus on those that I excel with, I find that there are programs that I eventually cull out.  By keeping my eye on those that make the biggest impact, I remain an effective force.  That does not preclude you from being a master of many things.  I do know many people with spare brain cells that can master a great many tools.  I admit to being an expert at many things but master of few.  Look at those who stand out from the crowd, they are the ones that remain focused, though knowledgeable of many things.  The tools of many trades are large in number.  The one gave an example of wood working tools.  I agree that in a trade, have all the tools required to perform well.  Just do not try to master many trades, the bill for tools may be overwelming. I find software just like hardware can shine and glimmer and catch my eye.  I remember wandering the Vegas halls of NAB and soaking in all that I saw.    It was information and tool overload. — My 1 cents worth…Don

  5. True, I could do great things without my gadgets, but in learning to control and use them, not have them use you it is possible to greatly multiply your efforts. For example, I’ve had blog hits all around the world. So I put buttons for translation in 24 different languages powered by google. I could never do that on my own, but by using this my blog can now be read by so many more people no matter their language.

  6. I think the issue now is that our work is defined by the presence of our gadgets. I know guys that are expected to be available 24/7 via email precisely because their company issues them a smartphone. As a worship leader, I switched to Mac out of necessity. We could ditch the technology and still do quality work if everyone else ditched it too. That way, expectations would change.

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