Conquent: Without Limits
Conquent: Without Limits
Michael Bissell's Blog

Creative Development or Developing Creatively?

2009-01-07 09:45:33
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I don't know, but "Creative Development" sounds like one of those undergrad courses you take to fill out your schedule, not a career, yet here I sit, at the head of a growing empire of which the divisions share the thread of "Creative Development."

I think the problem I have with the phrase is the same problem I have with describing what it is Conquent does -- "creative" is almost diametrically opposed to "development." When you think of a developer you think of a guy who builds houses, when you think of a creative, you think of someone with nerdy glasses doing applique.

Of course, when you think Internet developer, you think of a guy with nerdy glasses in a coffee house building applications...

It takes a special mindset to be able to apply creative solutions to dull problems, and still care that the dull problems are important. Following strict process and procedure doesn't solve problems, but ignoring it entirely can unravel an entire project.

Trying to explain this mindset to clients who "just want it built" is the challenge. People have come to Conquent over the years looking for a construction company, without an architect, without plans, and a fairly blurry vision of what they're trying to build.

We generally solve this by writing specifications, which I metaphorically refer to as "road maps." The nice thing about a road map is that you can take side trips and see other things along the way, but get back on course. Those side trips are the new ideas that come along as you develop something from nothing, and they are what make a project richer and more successful.

The problem with side trips is that it takes time and money, and you can't say "Well, you should have thought of that before." Creativity is an exploration, and discoveries aren't always pleasant...

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