#InspirationFriday: Create usefulness/uselessness

This week the inspiration comes from not one, but two near identical ideas: HEX clocks.

Both the developers of the clocks – Jaca Pocolo HEX Clock and The Colour Clock – have an interesting idea, and something very visually appealing.

The idea of a HEX clock is something I’m borderline about. Is it useful or useless? I understand it’s premise, and how it is a unique approach to the idea of a clock, but what does it offer that a normal clock doesn’t already do?

And this is when it struck me! This epiphany point of view of the whole uselessness versus usefulness (in terms of creativity). It doesn’t matter.

It.

Simply.

Does.

Not.

Matter.

Which is strange because we are told from day one that if you’re working on something you would want it to be profitable. And I guess I’ve even commented on it on a previous Inspiration Friday: Make Money, that tells you that having an income from something you love is beneficial. But the more I thought about it, and the more I analysed the situations I really thought that it wasn’t a deciding factor.

The amount of times we see unsolicited rebrands, or films that are beyond niche, or games that are not supposed to be widely consumed and question their viability in the market. When really we should be reflecting on how the project came to be in fruition. Because besides being a project that really has no other investors besides the creator, it really is a playground for creativity, which I think is a more important standpoint.

You’ll often see many creators having multiple jobs going on at the same time. Some are paid jobs, while others are side projects. And it is these side projects that really allow the creator to flesh out their ideas without having that burdened thought of “if this fails I will lose (income/respect/etc)”. It really is a section of their lives that allows failure so that their “more important” applications can be easily applied from previous experience.

But what’s even more enlightening is how sometimes side projects become major projects. Things like the SoundCloud downloader (not that I’m condoning downloading SoundCloud tracks) but it was a place the creator was testing out scripts and linking into the SoundCloud API. It then got picked up by a user who shared it around on social media and the website went into overdrive, becoming a major project for the creator.

Or my personal favourite are the fake trailers for the Grindhouse films. Not only did they spark widespread buzz to the community, and the creation of actual films out of the reactions, but allowed the creators to have fun. The products themselves were not meant to be made, effectively being useless products, but that playground to test waters was critical to them in their development.

I’m sure there are a lot more ideas out there that are fairly useless and serve nothing other than a testing ground for the creators, but I think the most important part is that you remain active. Creativity is a muscle, and like all muscles the rule is: use it or lose it. So go out there and create something – doesn’t matter if it is useful or useless, just don’t lose it.