We all have too much. Too many ideas. Opportunities. Too much on our to-do lists.
Resources and opportunities surround us.
When it comes to coming up with ideas, it's paralysing when you have too many options to choose from.
When you have too much, ideas get complicated. They get watered down, and you over spend instead of think.
That's why we believe constraints are creativity's best friend.
Because they make you think.
Thinking is free. Everyone can do it. But it's not always easy. Spending money is.
People think constraints are, well, constraining. But actually they open up a whole new world of creativity and opportunity. And the results can be groundbreaking.
Take Dr Seuss, who wrote, after a bet with his friend, a whole childrens book only using 50 words. 'Green Eggs and Ham' went on to become his bestselling book selling 8 million copies worldwide.
The horror film Paranormal Activity was filmed in one location, with one camera, and a couple of actors who improvised most of their lines. It only cost $11,000 to make. But it made $154 million in the box office. The directors knew that to scare people, it's not what you show them that scares them, it's what you make them imagine is there.
Or take tech companies like Twitter and Snapchat which were built on their 140 character and 24 hour constraints.
Or the British game show Countdown; 4 players, 9 letters, 30 seconds, and you've got a show that's been around since 1982.
When we're normally coming up with ideas, we think of everything that we have and how to make the most of it. This can make all the options paralysing. Or the results, vanilla.
Putting a constraint on yourself, whether it's with time, tools, design, money, features, products, team, or location, can result in a completely original idea.
Constraints focus our minds. They force us to be resourceful. To find new connections. New ways of doing things. To find value where others have overlooked.
But most importantly, the results can be very interesting.