Newsletter 05: Gather many ideas

“The best way to find the perfect idea is to have many ideas.”

This quote stuck in my head for hours after I read it in the book “The 38 Letters from J.D. Rockefeller to his son”. Let me quote more from the same chapter “Letter 28”:

“Finding out a way to do things better is the guarantee of being able to complete anything. This does not require superhuman wisdom, the important thing is to believe that things can be done, and to have this belief. When we believe that something is impossible to do, our brain will find various reasons for us not to do it. However, when we believe—really believe that something can be done, our brain will help us find various ways.”

I currently teach a course called Creative Strategies at NTU. I stress to the undergraduates that one has to compile many, many ideas as part of the creative process.

There’s no shortcut to this. It can take days or years to collect enough information to combine it into an effective and fresh concept for the problem you wish to solve.

But what happens when people don’t accept the problem at hand?

Yesterday, I read a LinkedIn post with some unhappy comments from marketers.

These marketers were upset with what Sam Altman of OpenAI had allegedly said, “It will mean that 95% of what marketers use agencies, strategists, and creative professionals for today will easily, nearly instantly and at almost no cost be handled by the AI.”

One person commented, “We are a long way off this. Currently LLMs are glorified predictive text applications. Besides Open AI is operating at a catastrophic loss at the moment and any powerful AI will need to cost a lot more than 20 dollars a month.”

Another said, “50% maybe. 95%, no way.”

I frowned as I read these type of comments.

Anyone who says “Gen AI will take a long time to be able to do XXX” probably has no idea how fast the tech is advancing every week.

As a daily user of Gen AI,

  • I’m always discovering different areas of my work that I can automate with GPTs in ChatGPT 4.
  • Last week, Google Gemini rolled out inline text editing to further accelerate the writing process (the prose is still a bit dull though).
  • Midjourney AI images leap ahead in quality every few months.

I’ve used enough Gen AI to know that Altman’s “95%” is a completely plausible number.

Gen AI will transform many non-marketers today into marketers tomorrow, and many marketers today into… whatever they choose to become.

At the same time, I have no sentimentality about the old ways. In my first job, I was a journalist who learned that things come and go, tomorrow is unpredictable, and nothing lasts forever.

To my fellow creative souls, I understand why this whole Gen AI thing is so upsetting. The human skills we took decades to build with our sweat and tears can now be replicated by an unfeeling machine in mere seconds.

There’s no time to waste though!

Let’s get started on generating and gathering new ideas about the future of creative work, and every other type of work.

Like Rockefeller said, the more ideas we have, the more likely we will find the best idea to lead us into the future.


The Catapult Concept for your career planning

Teaching the teachers at SOTA about Gen AI

How to add color to your writing

Rework text precisely in Google Gemini

Shocking statistics

I did this straw poll for a laugh, but the joke was on me. I thought most people would choose the last option like I did…

Ok, that’s all for this week!

Read more, love more, and pray more!

Originally published 10 March 2024 on LinkedIn. Subscribe here.