#86 What Shakespeare, Beethoven & Picasso Have in Common

Want to Create Something Great? Create a Ton.

In our last +1, we talked about how to get an “A” in your next pottery class.

Quick re-cap: Produce a TON of stuff. (Remember: 50 lbs = an “A”!)

Today’s +1: Let’s reflect on the fact that Adam Grant echoes this wisdom in his great book Originals.

He backs up the importance of creating a high volume of work with research that shows that the greatest artists were also the most prolific.

Shakespeare. Beethoven. Picasso. Those kinds of geniuses.

He tells us: “It’s widely assumed that there’s a tradeoff between quantity and quality—if you want to do better work, you have to do less of it—but this turns out to be false. In fact, when it comes to idea generation, quantity is the most predictable path to quality. ‘Original thinkers,’ Stanford professor Robert Sutton notes, ‘will come up with many ideas that are strange mutations, dead ends, and utter failures. The cost is worthwhile because they also generate a larger pool of ideas—especially novel ideas.’”

Plus: “If you want to be an original, ‘the most important possible thing you could do,’ says Ira Glass, the producer of This American Life and the podcast Serial, ‘is do a lot of work. Do a huge volume of work.’”


How can you dial up your productive output a little more today?

+1. +1. +1.

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