Tag Archive: borrow


What I mean by a “borrowed parallel paradigm” is that a paradigm out of my field of study or biz can help me shape – or reshape- my thinking and my doing.
It broadens my vision, or help me see the world through new lenses.

If I use Apple’s biz paradigm (mainly, a platform, to be studied) to improve my creative musician skills, it’s a win. However, it is not easy to draw parallel lines with those unrelated areas.

To create, to innovate, to shape, call it what you want, you need to borrow or shamelessly steal from unrelated industries, areas, businesses -even if the models are outdated- to make your very own product, be it a symphony or a startup.

That’s what Google does, what Amazon does, what a schmazillion of other successful people do. They succeed at what they aim for.
Success is not a one-size-fits-all word!

A pattern can be transposed successfully if applied in a clever way. If you stay in your area, you are likely to learn nothing. If you go where everyone else goes, you end up doing what everyone does. Is it what you want?

Picasso famously said that great artists steal. Is Picasso a great artist? This up to you to judge. The statement is true, though.

Today, the word artist has a broader meaning. A VP or a CEO can be artists, not because they are hobbyist painters or musicians, but because they -the succesful ones- totally pour themselves into what they do. Stravinsky used to say that a succesful piece of art is 99% work!

As far as I am concerned: I come from a very complex background.

I am a musician. That is the core of my being. 26 years of mayhem, and counting!

I sing, I play snare drum, timpani, vibraphone, drums, cello, viola da gamba, guitar, harpsichord, piano, organ… All those instruments have one thing in common: they require the use of fingers (in this case, parallels are drawn quite easily. Starting small is not a bad thing), and demand a very high degree of commitment.
I also produce, edit, mix and master. I started as a FOH engineer, but moved on to my comfy studio more as my back pain increased with FOH muck work. I am now settled.

However, I read business books, blogs about education, biographies, I love CDs and LPs artwork and do my own, I hang around with TED speakers, I study iOS programming and programming abstractions (courtesy of Stanford University). I read other people Ph.Ds’ stuff, too, no matter the subject.

How does all that relate? How does one model applies to the other to foster creativity? I’m diligently working on it.

Easy is not a word I can use to describe that task. I have to learn critical thinking, which is not taught at school/college.

I have to ask for mentorship, sometimes. I have to ask myself the right questions. It’s exhausting, and I already wanted to throw the towel many times. I didn’t, because I’m passionate about what I do.

Of course, it is easy to get lost into all those unrelated areas. Focus on your primary one and look around. How can you improve or change your existing model?

Borrow paradigms. Shamelessly. The more unrelated, the better.
Get the broadest scope you can get, yet keep in mind that you want to raise the bar of your primary activity, foster creativity and get smarter at what you do.

One last thing: don’t lose sight of your own goals.

I’d love to hear from you. You are encouraged to share your experiences and thoughts. Your personal info will never be shared.

Warning: I’m a Maverick, and what I’m describing here is NOT what I’m after. It is exactly what I execrate, loathe.

Here’s a recipe for being the best within the status quo:

• Learn how successful people behave and start to behave like them, even if you’re not there yet.

• Study until you drop (what else have you got to do?)
Swallow every bit of knowledge, useful or not, no matter if you really understood. You’ll always have something to say and others are not supposed to know more than you!

• Start borrowing from successful people/ devices and don’t bother creating. Make a list of the key features of them, and think about how you can have it all together.

• Once you’ve mulled upon your stuff enough, get on with your own ideas. The more weird, the better. Find some slaves who see the “savior” in you and never pay them for what they do. While they work, grab one of them to shoot a video about how great you are and how hard you work to make the world better. Don’t forget to take a nap.

• Get your video edited by one of your starving slaves, post in on YouTube and don’t forget to buzz about it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, your blog and/or your website.

• Now that you’re quite famous, gather with people behaving exactly like you do and create your own business.

• Tweet and post regularly links about what your slaves are doing, but show yourself only, and something looking appealing.

Now you’re close to have cathedrals and temples built to your name. Be worshipped and ask for even more.

• Have idols made for you by your faithful herd. Afterall, you gave them something in the first place (a reason to live) so they can return the favor thousandfold (for each of them.)

• Make sure some idols are kept for sale. Overprice them.

• Get your new worshippers to shoot videos about your greatness, and be sure they post it on YouTube.

I’m about to puke. Don’t you? Know that some jerks behave like that. Don’t become a slave.