What’s the Ultimate Creativity Killer?

What’s the Ultimate Creativity Killer?

Reader Comments (68)

  1. These are all great quotes! It’s funny looking back at them and wondering, “How could anyone be so naive?”

    But I’m sure that most of us have thoughts like these all the time for different situations.

    Very inspiring quotes.

  2. Great quotes. Makes me think of all the Internet Marketers who do the “Death of…” pitch. In order to promote the next new thing, they try to convince people what they are doing is dead. More often than not, it is alive and well, or not even being used to it’s full potential.

    These quotes remind me to keep an open mind and use common sense. There are no absolutes.

  3. I always think the Bill Gates quote seems out of place in lists like these. Don’t you think he meant that 640K was enough for anyone in 1981, and not forever?

  4. Brian, please don’t take this the wrong way. I follow you on twitter and read your blog daily. So, call me weird or something else. But, I don’t get it. 11 quotes on twitters makes a blog post? “That is really an eye opener!” How is it an eye opener? “Cool idea!” Why is it a cool idea?
    Again, I enjoy your blog and the advice you provide on it is great and I use it daily. But, I just don’t get the point.

  5. Hey… where would we be without these peoples comments though? Maybe comments like these actually kill creativity for some… and motivate the heck out of others.

    Nice list by the way!

    – Trevor

  6. So, did you violate your own rule? 😉 Recovering lawyer here too. I am trying not to think that hard right now when I read something. Part of the 12 step process to recovery.

  7. If everybody took “no” seriously then nothing would ever happen.

    Vision is usually left to people who have very tough skin, no interest in other people’s negative thoughts, and a drive that most of us can not fathom.

    Wasn’t it Thomas Edison who had to endure 10,000 failures before he could get the electric light bulb to work. Can you just imagine the amount of people that were telling him to give up and that it will never work.

    Live From Las Vegas
    The Masked Millionaire

  8. This is a stellar collection of quotes. I try to follow the rule “If you think you can’t, do it anyway.” These quotes are great examples of why I should press on.

  9. @ Shari – in my experience, you should try to train yourself to modify that way of thinking.

    If your line of thought is “I can’t really do it but I’ll try anyway,” you’re probably not going to be as great a success as you could be.

    It’s important to truly believe you can do it right from the start.

    One way I have combated the “I’m not sure I can do it” is by writing down that thought the instant I get it and then immediately writing down 2 reason why I can.

    After a while, I trained my thought process to do this automatically. It’s like a button that triggers in my head now – my “can’t do” is automatically flipped to, “here’s why I can.”

    ….just a thought.

  10. Great stuff, Brian.
    And is the hammer picture simply a visual reference to “tools”?
    Or were you also sneaking in a reference to one of my favorite expressions used to describe limited thinking: “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”?
    Looks like most of these speakers were limited by that kind of tunnel vision so that they were correct based on their own limited assumptions, but way wrong when reality/progress forced new assumptions into their industries.

  11. If the purpose is to encourage people to persevere, the quotes are useful. If it is to put these guys down for seeing limits that didn’t exist, let he without sin cast the first stone.

    Each of these people also had something major to contribute.

  12. We created a list like this last December to get inspired for the coming year and to fend off some of our known “creativity killers”
    Here are two from our list:

    #4. “Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.”
    -Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

    #5. “Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.”
    -1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard’s revolutionary rocket work.
    P.S. Nasa has this thing now called the Goddard Space Center

  13. Great Collection of quotes! I always appreciate the inspiration you give. You see what some of these people have said and just go DUH! “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” was said over 100 years ago! There’s a government appointed worker for you.

  14. Really good article, I used some of the points in my blog and then put a link to send my reader to your blog.

    Thanks for your inspiring writing.

  15. I still think that this “telephone” has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication.

  16. Wow, I must be slow to get the concept that was being made because I really didn’t understand how these quotes related to “Creativity Killers” until I read the comments and found out it was about making assumptions.

    Then I reread the post and understood them and seen Brian’s finial quote that referred to assumptions. It is a helpful and great post that help me realize that just because it seems impossible to me could very well be possible to someone else that sees what I don’t see.

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