Signs of Creative Success

Signs of Creative Success

Have you heard of Rebecca Black?  If not, you may be living under a rock. Her (sickly-sweet-teeny-bopper) song recently got over 62 Million views on Youtube in less than 50 days. It's also the most hated song on YouTube (or will be soon).


How do you think Rebecca Black feels being the most hated person on Youtube at only 13 years old?

She's probably a little confused and hurt -- but also very thankful and feeling pretty on top of the world that many people love something she created. She's learning the key lesson for any creative: with success, comes hate.

Sign of Creative Success #1: Hate

There's a key lesson to takeaway from this -- when you are successful, some people will hate you. Here's the rub, they may even have a good reason to. Bill Cosby said it best, "I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."

People strive to individualize themselves, to create a unique identity that they can own, and connect with others around. Taken to the extreme, this creates an "us vs. them" mentality that is very bad, but in moderation, it's one of the key tools that helps serve as clue holding together human culture and co-operation.

This individualism means that creating something loved by some, will invariably be hated by others. Nothing gets a 100% approval rate.

So, realize that what the haters are saying is valid, but just very misguided. Then, be ok with them not liking you.

Bottom line, you're not here to make everyone happy, you're here to create something that your 1000 true fans will love.

Key Point: while hate is present in success, it's not indicative of success.

I'm sure I don't need to actually say this, but don't "embrace the hate." It is possible to follow this theory to a perverse conclusion. 

While you might be able to rely on hate coming in the wake of success, don't assume that people hating you is indicative of success -- and don't go out of your way to acknowledge or encourage more hate. That is a bad way to generate attention for yourself.

Instead, expect that hatred will happen and block it out -- track your success solely against positive growth metrics.

By the way, hate isn't the only sign of success. Sign of Creative Success #2 is Derivative Works and Copycats, which Rebecca Black also has plenty of. I'll dive into explaining that sign of success another time, but as a sneak peak, here's my two favorite Rebecca Black Derivative Works:

1. Rebecca Black mixed with Ice Cube (put together by good friends of mine Badra and Bring Ruckus as a marketing experiment):

2. Matt Mulholland's "Dark Side of Friday" cover:

No, the Yellowstone supervolcano is not ‘overdue’

Why mega-eruptions like the ones that covered North America in ash are the least of your worries.

Ash deposits of some of North America's largest volcanic eruptions.

Image: USGS - public domain
Strange Maps
  • The supervolcano under Yellowstone produced three massive eruptions over the past few million years.
  • Each eruption covered much of what is now the western United States in an ash layer several feet deep.
  • The last eruption was 640,000 years ago, but that doesn't mean the next eruption is overdue.
Keep reading Show less

What the rise of digital nomads can tell us about the next wave of remote working

The pandemic has many people questioning whether they ever want to go back to the office.

SEBASTIEN SALOM-GOMIS/AFP via Getty Images
Personal Growth

If one thing is clear about remote work, it's this: Many people prefer it and don't want their bosses to take it away.

Keep reading Show less

CRISPR: Can we control it?

The potential of CRISPR technology is incredible, but the threats are too serious to ignore.

Videos
  • CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) is a revolutionary technology that gives scientists the ability to alter DNA. On the one hand, this tool could mean the elimination of certain diseases. On the other, there are concerns (both ethical and practical) about its misuse and the yet-unknown consequences of such experimentation.
  • "The technique could be misused in horrible ways," says counter-terrorism expert Richard A. Clarke. Clarke lists biological weapons as one of the potential threats, "Threats for which we don't have any known antidote." CRISPR co-inventor, biochemist Jennifer Doudna, echos the concern, recounting a nightmare involving the technology, eugenics, and a meeting with Adolf Hitler.
  • Should this kind of tool even exist? Do the positives outweigh the potential dangers? How could something like this ever be regulated, and should it be? These questions and more are considered by Doudna, Clarke, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, psychologist Steven Pinker, and physician Siddhartha Mukherjee.

Technology & Innovation

Smartly dressed: Researchers develop clothes that sense movement via touch

Measuring a person's movements and poses, smart clothes could be used for athletic training, rehabilitation, or health-monitoring.

Quantcast