March 3, 2011 § 4 Comments
Facebook did it. WordPress did it too. Then Flavorpill joined the gang just two days ago, when it sent out a newly designed email flyer. It seems like everyone likes getting a makeover but truth be told, not all changes are wonderful. Especially if you’re a creature of habit. Navigating around a new interface can get annoying when you’re in a rush.
But I like change. Somehow, it makes me feel that the people behind it were, well, thinking.
In Japan, food items rarely stay the same. Constantly seeking to entertain a generation of people with short attention spans and even lesser brand loyalty, the brains behind the food churn out new flavours (plum beer? lychee gum?) almost every year.
My point? It doesn’t seem enough to come up with a great new invention. You need to find a way (almost immediately) to better what you just did because if you don’t, someone else is going to come along and do precisely that for you.
It happens in design, music, books, clothing… almost everything that deals with us humans and our deep hunger for that something new.
But to be on the side of the manufacturer/producer… the task of reinvention can get daunting. And today, while writing a video script for Easter, I found myself well and truly stuck. This was worse than writers’ block. It felt more like a handicap.
I didn’t know how to tell the same story in a different way.
It’s not about special effects… the story is too powerful to need more distractions. It wasn’t about presentation either because the more we focused on how we wanted to tell it differently, the more we lost the main point of it all. Trawling through the internet got me more depressed. Every idea we could ever conceive of, had been done before.
In a mad, agonized moment, I finally deleted all the old half-written concepts, whined about my frustrations to a friend through a text message… and finally opened a new, blank document.
Then I just sat there.
tick, tock, tick, tock...
I could hear my watch. That was bad.
I stretched my back. My shoulders were stiff. I placed my fingers on the keyboard. I was determined to write something. Anything.
‘Why do we need to reinvent this story?’ I typed. I was using my age-old trick to overcome a slump – write about how you have nothing to write.
‘The crowd loves it for its history, treasures it for its timeliness. The young want to hear it again because it to makes them sit up and notice. The creatives always like things that are unique. But isn’t that all found in this story that I’m trying so desperately hard to re-tell?’
I stared at the screen.
And then I smiled.
Maybe this time… reinvention was about peeling back the layers of man’s inventions.
Completely and totally unrelated, I chanced upon Apple’s original logo.
Now here was an overhaul that changed the world. That, and of course… their new iPad 2.
The art of reinvention.