Creative Forecasting

August 16, 2018

Taking a break from our usual programming… with a podcast recommendation.

Like your standard advertising agency employee, I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes with things such as productivity, creativity and forecasting. I listened to this great episode of HerMoney With Jean Chatzky with Adam Grant, and it had so many bloody gems. Here are a few standouts:

  • On creative forecasting: studies show that creatives can’t critically evaluate their own ideas because they love them too much. Creatives’ managers are too critical and underestimate the ideas. The group that was the most accurate with predicting success of a creative idea was actually peers.
  • If you don’t have the luxury of running your ideas past your contemporaries, Grant suggests writing at least 20 (or up to 200, wtf) possible solutions for your scenario. Then number them from your favourite to least. Weirdly, creative forecasting studies show that your second favourite item will usually be the most successful.
  • When it comes to innovation, it’s often better to be a fast follower than a pioneer. The iPod was not the first to market, but it soon became eponymous for the MP3 player. (Let it be known I’ve never owned an iPod. I went straight from a Sony Discman to Spotify because I had some kind of music tech coma for ten years.)
  • In a similar vein, MVPing is very important. Shipping a minimum viable product is better than labouring away for years to make a perfect product, and then suffer when you launch because the market is crowded. (The example Grant gives was Polaroid, but a past workplace springs to mind for me. I worked in a team where where my managers were mad about perfection, to the point that everything we did was re-worked so much that by the time it was ready, the project was completely irrelevant and not timely for our end users.)

I’ll stop now ? Just listen for yourself below.

(Side note, this is the best podcast I’ve listened to in my entire life. If you’re into personal finance, the psychology of money, saving tips, stock markets, investing or all of the above, check it out.)


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