What’s Your Drug of Choice...To invent new worlds?
There’s a scene in the Netflix Documentary - The Other One: The Long Strange Trip of Bob Weir - where Bob is discussing the ethos of how the Grateful Dead evolved into a jam band.
I am paraphrasing Bob here: Block reality with LSD. Expand your awareness and suspend reality. You still know chords and rhythm. Fuck the structure and let it ride - jam. Freedom. No expectations because everyone else is tripping anyway.
While it’s no great surprise drugs – LSD primarily – provided the freedom the band needed to move away from traditional music structure. They did not just take LSD. They harnessed it. Strapped themselves to it. Followed it into a suspended reality. They left behind time – in rhythm and distance. They gave their music permission to wander and drift.
They improvised like jazz and jammed like rock n’ roll.
They created a world and innovated a new way of being. Bucking short songs for radio and recreating familiar sounds the crowds could sing along too.
There was time for that.
But instead, they created the space for the audience to wander with them. Dance and express themselves without the constraints music executives would have most believe were necessary to succeed.
Innovation for any problem you love is quite the same.
To reach novelty an innovator needs to connect deeply with the issue at hand. Understand it’s rules and how it exists. Then block those expectations and rules. Over and over and over again. Iterating until something reveals itself worth following. Discovering it’s unexpected potential. Iterating, testing and probing new ways of being till differences worth following emerge. Rinse and repeat. Till a new world evolves.
Our innovation drug of choice is to drift through space and time with problems we love – blocking what exists to discover the new. Accumulating readings, research, experiences, making, doing, practicing and interacting. Following fascinations till we’ve left behind what exists, tripping into something new.
So, what’s your innovation drug of choice?