Creativity, Innovation And Happiness

Last year, for our final post of the year, I wrote a message On Staying Happy. It seems, at time, that people think that I am filled with anger or rage, because of all the annoying or “bad” stories that show up here all the time. Of course, for folks who know me, this is pretty funny. I’m pretty laid back and quite happy and content for the most part — which was the point of last year’s post.

This year, for my final post of the year, I wanted to take that a step further, and point out how in awe I am of the continued amazing creativity we’ve been seeing. In just the last year alone, we’ve seen and written about so many incredible stories of creativity and innovation in a sea of negative from those who insist that it can’t be done. We’ve heard that music and movies are “dying” because of piracy, even as we’ve seen incredible new music and movies being created by people who are embracing new and innovative business models.

We’ve seen things like how Amanda Palmer connected with her fans and gave them a reason to buy, allowing her to create some fantastic new music. We’ve seen how a guy in Israel by the name of Kutiman, that no one had ever heard of probably broke all sorts of copyright laws to create create an amazing album (one of my favorites of the year). We’ve seen how Nina Paley went from being stifled by copyright to embracing alternatives and how she’s used that to build a different kind of business model. We’ve seen how the business models we talk about are suddenly being applied widely to things like books, photography and even everyday objects. It’s been an incredible year for amazing creativity both in content creation and in business models.

As a part of that, I’ve personally been blown away at the reception I’ve received (sometimes from initially “hostile” audiences) when I’ve been granted the opportunity to go out and present and discuss these business models and how they’re working.

Finally, as a result of all this, we’ve had a lot of fun running our own experiments, from which we’ve learned a ton and were able to work with some amazing and talented partners and content creators. Seeing all this happen even as the stories (without any evidence) of doom and gloom get louder and louder from those who aren’t willing to embrace change is even more exciting and encouraging. The pace with which these ideas are being adopted (and adapted) is breathtaking and exciting. We’re looking forward to the pace of this activity to only increase in 2010, and we’ve got a bunch of surprises in store as we look to not only continue discussing these concepts but to really help more people join in the fun as well.

Thanks to everyone here for making it yet another fun year. We’ve been at this for over a dozen years now, and each year is more exciting than the previous one — in large part due to the amazing community of folks who spend at least some of their free time here. We hope that you had a wonderful and exciting year as well, and look forward to more opportunities in 2010…

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