Squeezing the last drop out of our visit to Copenhagen, James and I spent 90 minutes with Jacob Boetter at the airport. Jacob and his colleagues – here’s their blog – are working to see design reinvented in much the same way James and I want to see marketing change to be much more collaborative. This would move the emphasis away from the notion of designer as genius, towards the designer as faciliator of the ideas of the community he is working for.
This got me back to the subject of ordinariness in innovation. It’s tempting to see innovation as coming from geniuses. Maybe sometimes it does; but I think there’s something paradoxically ordinary about many breakthroughs. Like the kid in the Emperor’s New Clothes whose intervention is to state the bleedin’ obvious when others are stuck in hi-falluting mode. Robert Scoble has created an extraordinary impact at Microsoft by writing in a very ordinary, down-to-earth way; not fancy copywriting, just good conversational writing. An ordinary approach is one that’s likely to let more people into the conversation, enriching the network and thus increasing the possibilities for new connections and new ideas.