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Survivor at Davos

In yesterday’s post, I described a creativity face-off at Davos. Participants were asked to describe their vision of the keys to creativity, and the audience voted on those ideas until two finalists remained. As promised, here’s the outcome.

Last to be voted off the island was Ideo’s Tim Brown, who suggested that creativity is spurred by approaching problems with a beginner’s mindset, and by exploring ideas through the use of rapid prototyping.

And the winner is: Google’s Marissa Mayer, who argued for “a healthy disrespect for the impossible” combined with the virtues of constraints. In other words, aim high, but focus. Mayer described how an artist friend once told her that it was much easier to paint on a canvas that already had something on it–a mark or a line of some sort–than to begin with an entirely blank canvas. The existing mark is a constraint, something the artist has to think about and work around. And product developers at Ikea begin with a different sort of constraint, she said. They start with a price they have to meet–say $49–and then think about what they can make for that price.