There has never been a better day in the whole history of the world to invent something. There has never been a better time with more opportunities, more openings, lower barriers, higher benefit/risk ratios, better returns, or greater upside than now... Today is a truly wide open frontier. We are all becoming. It is the best time ever in human history to begin. - Kevin Kelly
Twenty years ago at the height of the dot com boom, it took millions of dollars and hundreds of hours to start companies, build web sites, and go from idea to execution. But as the gap between creativity and technology becomes narrower, the time it takes to get from idea to execution will move closer and closer to zero.
At the start of 2016, I enrolled in Peter Diamandis' online course about exponential technologies. While most of what he talked about wasn't in the hands of consumers yet, he said something that will determine our abilities to create something of tremendous value in the future.
Questions will become more important than answers. We will have all of the knowledge in the world at our fingertips. We almost do already.
An Abundance of Access to Resources
We've never had more ubiquitous access to valuable resources than we do in 2019. Elite schools have made their entire curriculum available online. Experts in their fields have blogs and podcasts that are completely free. The internet is gradually democratizing creativity, but we're also wasting it's potential by uploading selfies and composing status updates. I've jokingly said to friends that if someone came back from the early 90's in a time machine, they'd think we've entered a state of idiocracy.
Let me get this straight. Donald Trump is the president of the United States, and he, Dennis Rodman, and Kim Jong Un meet in Singapore. You watch people live their lives on the internet for hours each day and you decide who to date by swiping right on the people you'd be open to having sex with. WTF?
What's possible with the tools and resources at our disposal is incredible. What we've done with them, not so much.
Cheap and Nearly Free Tools
We use 20 essential tools to run the Unmistakable Creative. Most of them cost less than $30 a month. You can run a small business for around $500 a month in software costs. Not only that, but our tools are getting better by the day thanks to advances in machine learning and Moore's law. Here are just a few:
- Zencastr gives you studio quality recording for 20 dollars a month.
- Notion is the all-in-one work space that replaces dozens of other tools.
- With WordPress, Squarespace and other similar tools, anybody can build a web site in hours.
- Beautiful.AI allows you to build breathtaking presentations in 20 minutes. Take a look at our media kit.
- Reason8.AI gives you the ability to take meeting notes without having to write things down.
- My friend Gareth Pronovost built a personal CRM using Airtable in an afternoon.
As machine learning tools collect more data, our tools will become much more effective and we'll build predictive machines.
Tools that are Easier to Use
A few nights ago, I started digging into the Adobe Creative Cloud. I'm not a photographer or graphic designer, but I am someone with the desire to create anything that I can imagine, which Adobe's new tools give creators the ability to do this. The tools have become easier to use and a fundamental shift has occurred, from catering to a creator's technical capabilities to catering to their imagination.
Ease of use will be the thing that sets apps and tools apart from their competition in the future. What they enable their users to do will be far more important than features. The ultimate feature is enabling someones imagination. And Adobe is heading in that direction.
A year ago, most AI tools were clunky and produced subpar results. Now they've had over a year to collect enough data to make better predictions. And the results are getting MUCH better.
Consider something like Looka. Because millions of people have made logos using this tool, it has enough data to make much more accurate predictions about fonts, colors, aesthetics, and more. I've included a video below about how I designed a personal brand logo in 5 minutes.
The other day, I wanted to see if I could build a replica of the Unmistakable Creative home page using the WIX Artificial intelligence editor. Many of the decisions we're making about web site design are nothing more than inputting data: choosing fonts, colors, positions, etc. All of this can already be done with machines.
Note: The other day, a reader emailed asking if I was paid by any of these companies. None of them are paid advertisers. They are tools I like and believe in, so I've shared them with my readers.
As companies collect more data about their users, this will get easier and faster. As I said in my most recent article about how AI will enhance human creativity, proficiency will become a commodity and imagination become much more valuable.
We're on the edge of exponential creative superpowers where the only thing someone will soon be constrained by is their imagination. And as AR Rahman brilliantly said when asked how he approaches composing, "Imagination has no budget."
The list goes on and on. But, how to use tools is not going to be nearly as important as knowing why you're using them and imagining what's possible with them.
Decreasing Costs for Services
As tools get easier to use, the services made possible by those tools will come down in cost. For a creative person with an imagination, this is incredibly powerful. When we produced our animated series for the Soulpancake Youtube channel, we stopped after 6 episodes because it was prohibitively expensive.
A few weeks ago, I discovered an unlimited graphic design service called Delesign that offered unlimited graphic design including animation for $375 a month. I asked the CEO if they would be able to do our animation work and album covers and he said yes, so I signed up immediately. Our graphic designer nailed our custom album covers for The Unmistakable Creative on her first attempt. Their tagline is "anything you can describe, we can create."
Note: Delesign has advertised on our show. But that didn't happen until we used them for a month.
The gap between creativity and technology gets narrower by the day. It's only a matter of time before it doesn't exist at all. This is a golden opportunity for people who are creative. Imagination is the new currency of creativity. What will you use yours to create?