When undertaking a project that requires at least 80 hours of work per week, maintaining a network of invested supporters who watch out for the little tasks that fall through the cracks is paramount.
As I began building the foundation of this network for the 13/13/13 Sketchbook Project, I quickly realized that I did not want a horde of personal assistant minions. Instead, I wanted to be the minion of people with more experience and much better methods for accomplishing big goals. No matter how eagerly I devoured creativity-boosting entrepreneurship books, this project needs more than just one innovative brain on it at all times.
You need to understand how human beings bring together their brains and enable their ideas to combine and recombine, to meet and, indeed, to mate. In other words, you need to understand how ideas have sex. — “When ideas have sex”, Matt Ridley (watch below)
Having multiple idea-sex partners is incredibly satisfying, plus you rarely have to worry about transmittable diseases — especially if you are having idea-sex via Skype.
**Sappy gratefulness alert** This project would never have gotten off the ground without the following influential thinkers (aka the 13/13/13 Sketchbook Project’s Board of Advisors). These sexy folks have provided new perspectives for marketing and circulating this project, helped to craft my ramblings into concise statements, taken over fundraising proposals, reminded me to stop and breathe, chastised me for allowing the administrative and creative tasks to waver out of balance, and pointed out the little crumby tasks that have accidentally fallen on the floor:
- Akira Morita (1/2 of Design Kompany) – Legacy Designer, Brand Clarifier, and Lifestyle Analyst
- Dipika Kohli (1/2 of Design Kompany) – Sharpie Artist, Memoirist, and Thinker of Deep Thoughts
- Lisa Creech Bledsoe – Freelance Writer, Editor, Boxing Guru, and Blogger Extraordinaire for The Glowing Edge
- Aaron Mandel – Novelist, Artist Representative, Marketing & Event Coordinator, Editor of Clarion Content, and Networking Phenom
- Adrian Schlesinger – Curator, Artist, and Selfless Do-Good-er
Through faulty technology and conflicting schedules, we have maintained an open-minded atmosphere in which each of us accept and share our strengths and are unafraid to own up to our mistakes and lack of knowledge.
The only way to maximize group creativity—to make the whole more than the sum of its parts—is to encourage a candid discussion of mistakes. In part, this is because the acceptance of error reduces cost. When you believe your flaws will be quickly corrected by the group, you’re less worried about perfecting your contribution, which leads to a more candid conversation. We can only get it right when we talk about what we got wrong.
― “Imagine: How Creativity Works“, Jonah Lehrer
Their passionate collaborative spirits have enabled this project to reach Finland, and through their continued devotion and support, it will, with all certainty, reach Paraguay. For the millionth time, thank you.
Yes, I am all eye-rollingly in love with these folks. The idea-sex is simply mind-blowing. (*pause for groans here*)