There is a scene in Good Will Hunting where the undiscovered mathematical genius played by Matt Damon takes on an arrogant Harvard student in a bar. He derides his $150k Harvard education his parents have paid for as all it seems to do is teach him how to regurgitate other peoples ideas and plagiarise obscure book passages to impress people. The Harvard Student predicts that without a degree Matt Damon will be serving food in a drive through restaurant.
Damon replies ‘Maybe, but at least I won’t be unoriginal’
Struck a chord with me personally as I’m debating whether to invest in MSc in Digital. I’ve also been trying to understand why although my passion for media hasn’t dimmed I’m finding the UK industry particularly uninspiring lead like a dog on a leash by the US.
Or maybe I’m just failing to be inspirational.
The ideas and news I put into my head far outweighs the ideas I’m putting out. Media Consumption for work yesterday
I justify the time spent as necessary – so I can keep up to date, talk to clients about the options they have, make sure I’m not missing any impactful developments. Looking at it from another viewpoint perhaps it’s been a lot easier to recite industry developments than to work on some of my own.
Some agencies insist employees work on a personal project in work time, encouraging them to develop their own ideas. Putting the intellectual property arguments aside I believe this is a good practice. Encouraging people develop ideas and present them to peers for input. This is as important as educating yourself in the ideas developed by others. Only through this will you be able to contribute to your industry.
The most rewarding experiences in my career have been based on pushing benchmarks – trying things that hadn’t been tried before. Developing existing practices, establishing new ones.
Talking with colleagues about an idea you’re exploring is so much more interesting than talking to colleagues about the ideas what everyone else has worked on. Sure, we should acknowledge and learn from them but we also have to work on our own. Create our individual content.
So my question to you is – When did you last use your unique talents to produce something worth talking about ?