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Monday, January 16, 2006


The Art of Business

As I work away, creating my business, I am continually struck by how much the process has in common with creating art. It seems to me that there is a whole lot here that business people and artists have in common that they can't see because of the strange micro-cultures attached to what they do.

In the art world, romantic myths abound of the artist starving in a garrett just for the opportunity to work. Artists can resist business types because they think businesspeople are all about numbers, and reports, and suits, and sales, and what can they possibily have in common.

Conversely, business types stereotype artists as flighty, illogical, unpredictable, and bad with money. Their culture is about doing whatever it takes to improve the bottom line, and aesthetics rarely find their way into it.

But both entrepreneurs and artist are engaged in the business of creating something that has never existed in the world before. They are both interested in communicating and expanding the audience for their product, but the traditional sales tactics of business are simply not artist-friendly. They both want to become mature brands with a stable market, but businesses can't always see the immense value of change and experimentation when they are ground down by day-to-day operations.

Being a good artist and finding a way to make money at it is extremely subversive in the art "establishment", as Robert Bateman has found out. Similarly, businesses rarely respect innovators until they have a proven track record according to business standards. Laying aside stereotypes and mixing the two groups could have an enormous hybrid vigour effect!

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You made an interesting point!! I had just discussed similar topic with my friend last Sunday, and we came up with a conclusion that every field of science requires artistic sense. Similar to your idea, all science involves creating something new: new way to measure personality (psychology); new way to treat cancer (medical); new way to reduce CO2 (chemistry & environmental science) etc.

In addition to that, we all need sensitivity that artists have. Psychologists need to be sensitive to the environment when they are assessing people's behaviors; people in medical field always need to be aware of the changes of patients' body and also the environment to reduce the risk of infection; business people always need to know what consumers and other companies are doing.

I think artists, scientists (including social science), and business people share more similarities than people normally think.
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