“A good scientist is a person with original ideas. A good engineer is a person who makes a design that works with as few original ideas as possible. There are no prima donnas in engineering.” – Freeman Dyson, Born Dec. 15, 1923.
We work in a field that frequently tries to force creativity and invention into projects that absolutely do not need them.
So many people beat their brains to bits trying to be a “scientist” as in Dyson’s quote above. They want to invent. They want to be original. They want to do something that hasn’t ever been done just for the sake of doing it.
Hey, don’t get me wrong.
If you’ve already achieved a stable and scalable degree of success, by all means, have at it. Get creative from a position of security and comfort. When you can work without the desperate need for your work to succeed or else you starve. That’s a wonderful luxury.
But when you’re running lean and hungry for more – when you need to succeed or else you have to quit and get a job in the salt mines…
DO NOT invent or even re-invent anything new that isn’t needed for the task at hand.
Reject being a scientist, and become the engineer Dyson was talking about.
Minimize. Strip away. Whittle down. Focus ONLY on what is needed, and seek to implement those needs in the easiest, most common way.
Use what has been proven and proven again. Other people paid greatly to experiment and test those things that are now standard, so take advantage.
Implement your projects with the minimum of complexity and moving parts. Use out-of-the-box tools as-is. No hacks or mods. Just plug them together and use as intended to accomplish the minimum required functionality for your product/service/offer, etc.
Follow proven templates for the copy. Use proven structures for your offers. Put it all together and test it. Once it’s working, if you MUST inject some creative magical butterfly crystal energy into it, THEN do it.
But my advice would be to move onto the next project that you can build out of simple, existing pieces.
And then the next. And the next.
What I can promise you is that for the creative soul, you will find ways to innovate and invent WITHIN these processes the more you work with them. Instead of trying to create from the start, work within the confines of your minimalist methodology.
For me, I found a flavor and style and attitude for my work in the content and tone. That is where I try to be “original” – but when it comes to my business, my work is simple and imitative.
I sell info product downloads via a payment link, and I have a membership site. I use sales posts and sometimes videos to sell the stuff. The products are PDFs and video recordings. Nothing revolutionary. I didn’t invent anything I do or sell.
Neither should you. Definitely not if it’s going to stop you from completing anything and getting it out there.
So heed me and my boy Freeman. Leave the originality to people interested in a struggle. For you and I, we take the engineer’s route.
We are not artisans. We are hacks.
Build it. Be done fast.