Unnecessary Creations

Creating something unnecessary might lead to big things.

It’s easy to feel burnt out when you’re under pressure to deliver consistently brilliant work “on demand” every day. What to do then? Todd Henry, founder of Accidental Creative, recommends the practice of “unnecessary creating” where time is carved out to create something that isn’t paid for, or part of the day job. When you do something for the pure joy of it and integrate it into your routine, it helps release pent-up creative energy. This, in turn, reintroduces passion for the day job. And while the effort might seem “unnecessary”, the end result can be greatly rewarding.

The Slinky Spring Toy

Take the Slinky, a helical spring toy that has sold over 300 million units. Its inventor, Richard James, a naval mechanical engineer, was working on springs that could stabilise sensitive naval instruments when he accidentally knocked one over. The spring dropped, then ‘stepped’ from a shelf to a stack of books and to the floor before it stood upright. Intrigued, he experimented with different materials even as his wife expressed doubts about the idea. A year later, he succeeded.


The Wrist Widget

Wendy Medeiros-Howard’s day job is her physical therapy business where she treats injuries. Her ambition? To become an inventor. This drove her to devote spare time to invent the WristWidget, a splint that relieves pain for people who suffer triangular fibro-cartilage complex (TFCC), a wrist injury.


The Infinite USB Memory Drive

The Infinite USB Memory Drive (IUM), the world’s first flash drive with infinite capacity, was also a result of “unnecessary creating”. Ahmad Zahran, a Nokia sales manager, wanted to watch a movie on his TV but the movie file was in his laptop. This spurred him to invent something to stream data files wirelessly from laptops to media players via USB ports. Zahran roped in a co-worker and they launched the IUM in 2010.

    May 25, 2012
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