Google wrote about what they consider to be “The Eight Pillars of Innovation”. They reflect my experience when I worked there. I’ll leave it to you to deep-dive into the article, but The Eight Pillars are (with comments in parentheses):
- HAVE A MISSION THAT MATTERS – (great startup advice, but for filmmaking, ambition can work against creating an emotional experience for the audience.)
- THINK BIG BUT START SMALL – (big-companies especially need to hear this. Artists are of course by necessity used to starting small.)
- STRIVE FOR CONTINUAL INNOVATION, NOT INSTANT PERFECTION – (on the other hand, Apple prefers to hold products back until they are perfect at launch.)
- LOOK FOR IDEAS EVERYWHERE – (yes, however films can benefit from a singular guru who sift through innumerable production ideas in pursuit of a clear vision.)
- SHARE EVERYTHING – (I’ve often heard comedy writers talk about how they learned this on the improv stage.)
- SPARK WITH IMAGINATION, FUEL WITH DATA – (another way of saying is be prepared for many creative ideas to be rejected by reality.)
- BE A PLATFORM – (creativity doesn’t mean you have to reinvent everything. Superhero and zombie concepts are simply platforms. What you create upon them can be wonderful.)
- NEVER FAIL TO FAIL – (yes, but in order to fail frequently, you need to be capable of a high volume of output. You don’t want to be creatively spent when an idea is rejected and you have to start over.)
Perhaps these Eight Pillars have sub-Pillars of their own. I could suggest The Two Sub-Pillars of The Eight Pillars of Innovation:
- TIME - The longer you work on the idea, the farther down the road you can go. Time lets you travel beyond the Trope and the Obvious and discover new creative lands.
- CONCENTRATION - If the phone buzzes, the pressure of a deadline weighs upon your soul, or even if you’re just plain hungry, your mind is less free to explore.
I’ve always thought those Silicon Valley benefits – free food on campus, the controversial Google buses - are simply ways to free up employee time and help them concentrate. Once you’ve got that, then you can work on Thinking Big, Starting Small, and all the rest.