As many of you know, I am always in search of the next BIG thing. Throughout my career, I have taken many diverse technologies from inception to construction to promotion and ultimately to dissemination. Some were more successful than others, but there has always been a common thread that I look for in any technology that I choose to bring to market: the spark. The spark is that element of inspiration that can neither be manufactured nor replicated and it’s what sets a winning idea apart from one that’s simply run-of-the-mill. In short, I am fascinated by that “Eureka!” moment of inspiration; what precedes it? why some people are more prone to channeling the spark than others and where that gift originates?
It’s been said that necessity is the mother of inspiration and invention. To some degree that’s entirely true. For instance, would the ice cube have ever been invented if we were satisfied with a room temperature drink on a hot day? Or would email have ever made its way from our computers to our smartphones if there wasn’t a real need to be on and connected 24/7? Probably not.
Recently, I began working with the famed industrial designer, architect and artist, Ron Arad to develop the world’s first customized color changing tile that allows walls and floors to be changed remotely with the touch of a button. The benefits of Versatile (as my genius PR director named it) are in fact many. The tiles provide unprecedented design freedom to architects and designers within the growing tile industry (a market currently estimated at $54 billion with an estimated 6% yearly growth rate.) And while we are clearly meeting a very real need, what fascinates me more than anything else is the incredible inspiration that Ron Arad brings to the table at every turn.
His incredible body of work now even includes the Design Museum Holon, the first museum in Israel dedicated to design. For anyone who is unfamiliar with it, it is nothing short of inspired. In the past, Ron has described himself as unmethodical and even undisciplined. He has said that “ideas are always all around but that the trick is in knowing which ideas to invest in.” In fact, I get the sense when talking to him that his brain is simply wired differently than most. When I ask him from where his inspiration comes, he maintains that his mind has trouble sorting through things that are simple to most and that his unique way of looking at design is, in fact, a coping mechanism.
Whatever the origin of his gift, there is no doubt that he is indeed supremely gifted.
And it makes me wonder even more where that spark is born? Are we all gifted, in one way or another, just as I believe we are all surely handicapped in some way? Does it simply require digging by each of us, like an excavation of sorts, to find our gift…with some lucky “archeologists” among us finding theirs at the top of the pit and others among us never reaching sufficient depth to unearth our own?
I wish I knew.