Nothing Seems to Be Ever Finished — And that Can be Exhilarating; and Exhausting


(Think of this as a reflection on innovation, and design, and creativity…).

Nothing seems ever fully finished these days.

That can be exhausting.

That can be exhilarating.

In the old days, I would finish a project. I mean, really finish it. And, when it was fully finished, I would file it away (I’m not always sure why), or I would throw it away.

But, these days, so much feels unfinished. Even what we think is pretty much finished is unfinished.

Consider this. I recently read an article about the next generation of commercial passenger airplane designs — the inside, for passenger comfort. It looks cool. The mock up images indicate “yes, that will be a better way to travel.” But, you know don’t you, the last design was the “yes, that will be a better way to travel” design of its era. And this new one will be improved upon later by other creative, innovative, design geniuses. (Click here for descriptions and images of this coming design).

the-coolest-cooler-13270-1Or, consider this. Have you seen the ingenious new Kickstarter “ice chest” design – the “Coolest Cooler.”  (initial goal — $50,000. Money raised as of this hour: $8,164,846.  Watch the video). I sent the info to my brother, who uses ice chests, a lot of ice chests! — and, he uses them a lot — for his big outdoor “cooks.” (His company has a haul-around barbecue set up that is just slightly smaller than an aircraft carrier).

He saw the new ice chest and admitted – yep, pretty cool.

Here's his "haul around" grill
The Novotus “haul around” grill

Even for speakers, our work feels unfinished. Among other types of presentations, I present synopses of business books for a living. I read the book; I prepare a handout; I speak. And then, pretty much every time, I think “oh, I should have emphasized this instead of that.” Always.

And, when I have the luxury of time, I keep thinking of additional implications of the books I have “finished.”  New things to say, or blog about.

So much of what we do always seems just a little bit… unfinished.

Here’s the thing. Everything can be improved upon. And, since it can be, it should be.

But, that means we always have to be asking, “how can I next improve upon what I am doing?”

And that is exhausting  — and exhilarating.

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