Austin Kleon at the HOW design conference

I see a lot of presentations in my profession. I give a lot of them too… so I’m hard to please. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed Austin’s keynote presentation at the HOW design conference. He’s a terrific speaker and storyteller and I love good storytellers. He walked us through these 10 rules for creative people and a lot of them rang true for me as a product manager:

  1. Steal like an artist. (from the best and many at a time)
  2. Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started. – you are never going to have it all figured out.
  3. Write the book you want to read.
  4. Use your hands.
  5. Side projects and hobbies are important.
  6. The secret: do good work and share it with people.
  7. Geography is no longer our master.
  8. Be nice. (The world is a small town.)
  9. Be boring. (It’s the only way to get work done.)
  10. Creativity is subtraction.

What I loved hearing was:

Steal from the best, surround yourself with the best. If you are the best person in the room, change the room. So.. as a product manager, unless you are working with smarter people, you are are not going to get any better at what you do. I guess this works for all disciplines and careers and not just product management. This made me wonder if I’m learning new things in my discipline or not. I don’t think I am. I have to make my career more exciting for me and seek new mentors.

Here’s more about Austin. He’s awesome and his story about Winston Smith and how it all came around many years later is beautiful. Everyone should be so lucky. Here’s the story:

http://austinkleon.com/tag/winston-smith/

 

http://www.austinkleon.com

 

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