Creativity: 0 to 1 afterthoughts

Disclaimer: This isn’t an insinuating attempt at the way of lives. It’s just another musing.

A true hypocrite (who accepts the fact) and a faux hypocrite (try swapping the terms liar, genius, psycho, erudite, ..) may invariably define one’s character and attitude towards a problem. Cognizance of the concepts and related tools is a great thing, while not possessing the know-how and still being able to define the problem and proposing a few good solutions, is what I perceive as creativity (the generic notion). Getting to know existing solutions and eventually building upon them is great, but that – 0 to 1 – is what counts as discovery and invention. And that is the key to assessing one’s approach and the element of intuition.  That 0 to 1 is what gets you the early beginner’s advantage.


from Peter Thiel’s 0 to 1

One prides on mastery in techniques discovered by others [like getting industrial grade certifications and/or being the “Lead XYZ” of something]. Good or bad experiences attach a sense of fulfillment or achievement. We get better as conversation starters because of that experience and even better at concluding them. Let’s not digress about the metaphysical notions like:

  • “What does success mean to you?” or
  • “Why does that sense of self-fulfillment make you feel better?” or
  • “Why making you feel better makes your surroundings look pleasant? ” or
  • “Why pleasant surroundings make the world a better place?  (assuming that in an ideal world, there’s no such thing as ‘the 7 sins’)” or
  • “Why do you wanna make the world a better place?” or
  • “What would making the world a better place mean to you?”  or
  • “Why does a better world, meaning a better place to live in, make you feel happy?” or
  • “Why is being happy good for people? (when one doesn’t know what it is exactly, and that it’s only experienced when one has been sad once)”.
  • … Let’s not do that?
  • Let’s not ask ourselves any of that? Because that’s a waste of time?
  • Let’s not talk about our chances of *succeeding in life* when we don’t even know what that means?

Instead, let’s talk straight to the point. IOT, DevOps, Data Science, Deep Learning and so on. All these buzzwords are called buzzwords for a reason. They have captured the imagination of most of today’s professional and academic world. People looking for a new start or to further academic indulgence, are immediately attracted to the latest and the greatest. Of course this is how normally humanity progresses in the world of science and technology.

The moment someone switches to either of these domains, they’re surrounded by an assemblage of entropy from social media and specific forums / mailing lists. They start going with the flow immediately, discovering mentors amongst public opinions. Somewhere down the road, they start observing other like-minded peers, with whom they now interact frequently, because they found “common interests” and “common buzzwords” aligned with each other’s school of thought. They feel connected and if not, they go to meetups, hackathons and conferences to find more like-minded candidates. I’m talking about geeks here, leave out all the rest!

While they’re involved in their cutting-edge efforts to bestow upon humanity, productization of millions of discussions/ideas over the days, months and years, I believe they somehow loose track of their original line of thoughts, given there ever was one. But what’s wrong with that? They’re eventually building something better, right? Sure, you may know (after engaging in geekery) how that distributed file system works, sure you now know about that straw2 algorithm that was a clever addition for the new block storage industrial solution. But would you have felt better if it were you who developed the very first version of that technique or explored that uncharted avenue which is now a widely known ‘phenomenon’? I figured as much.

Maybe take this post as a reminder of the point made? It is, to me 🙂


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