10 Rules For Building Creativity In Web3
In Web3, we are living inside a microcosm of disruption, technology, scale, and pressure. In that environment, our creativity is constantly challenged and we need to be constantly renewing our thinking to survive and thrive.
In Web3, the only constant is change. To be creative, you have to be comfortable with chaos and ambiguity. You can’t be afraid of not knowing what’s going to happen next. Building our creativity has to be a priority, but it’s never easy; it’s a hard road that asks for a degree of sacrifice, particularly for those of us in this space who refuse to take shortcuts and are committed to quality.
Give yourself permission to be creative.
This may seem like a silly step, but it’s actually very important. You need to start by accepting that you are a creative person and allow yourself to explore your creativity.
You don’t need to be a genius or an artist to be creative. Everyone is creative in their own way. They just need permission. Not from the gatekeepers, not from society, not from anyone. Just themselves.
Take time for creativity.
This doesn’t mean you have to set aside hours every day to be creative. It could be 5 minutes sitting in your car before work or 10 minutes spent sketching on the bus. The important thing is that you make time for it and you do it regularly.
This could mean working for a certain number of hours each day or only working on creative projects on weekends. The important thing is that you have some rules to follow so that your creativity isn’t constantly being interrupted.
Find a creative outlet that does not add to your pressure.
This could be anything from writing to painting to dancing. Find an activity that allows you to express your creativity and do it regularly.
Don’t worry about how good you are at it or whether other people will think it’s stupid. Just do it for the sake of doing it. Something that has nothing to do with Web3. Something that has nothing to do with NFTs, monetization, or anything else that impacts your bottom line.
Your ability to make money from your creativity is not the only metric that matters.
This is a tough one because it’s natural to want validation from others. But don’t let that stop you from being creative. There are plenty of other ways to measure your success. Judge yourself by how much you enjoy the process, how much you appreciate what has been produced, and how it makes you feel at the end of it.
Be open to new ideas.
When you’re open to new ideas, you’re more likely to come up with creative solutions; this is because you’re not restricting yourself to a specific way of thinking.
Creativity doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and practice to develop your creative skills. And those creative skills will stagnate without new ideas that can challenge your thought processes and your ideas, challenge how you approach and analyze and express your own concepts. Ultimately, it helps you to become a better thinker and problem solver.
One of the things that are damaging the NFT space is the bubble-think, where people forget that the things they are building have to be something that people will actually use.
This is not to say that you should always do what the majority wants, but rather that you should always be testing and prototyping your ideas with real users to see how they actually interact with them. This is where ideas can surface that flip everything on its head, and offer you an entirely new path.
Sometimes the best way to be creative is to take risks. Be willing to try new things and experiment with different techniques. Be willing to scare the hell out of yourself. Be willing to open yourself up to utter ridicule, and see what comes of it.
The inner critic is the voice in your head that tells you that you’re not good enough, that your ideas are stupid, and that you should give up. The key is to learn to embrace this voice and use it to your advantage. The key is to not let it block the risks that you know will lead to the most growth and creativity.
Some things are going to work out.
Some things are absolutely not.
As long as the risks you are taking are risks that carry your values and creativity with them, nobody will be able to fault you.
Don’t be afraid of failure.
And when you take a risk — take it knowing that failure is not the end. Failure is a natural part of the creative process. Failure is what allows you to learn, grow, and become better. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not celebrating failure — but it’s an opportunity to gather data and iterate.
To be clear, rugging your project, ripping people off — that’s not failure. That’s being a bad actor. Failure is when you do your best, you give your best, and you don’t stick the landing. It sucks. It’s painful. But it’s also how we learn and get better.
I think when we punish or cancel folks simply for not minting out, for failing to hit their goals, we’re doing a disservice not just to their creativity, but to our own. We’re creating limits for everyone, and that’s not good for the ecosystem. There has to be room for getting it wrong, in good faith, and recovering from it.
Creative ideas don’t always come easy. Be prepared to work hard and be patient until the perfect idea comes along. When they do come, be prepared for them to take time to build. When you’ve built something, be prepared for it not to mint out right away. Give it time, and don’t be discouraged by the initial response.
We have such a concentrated concept of time in the Web3 space. 10x in 10 minutes is not a real target. We should be able to have enough patience to build calmly, steadily, and organically, not slapping things together in a frenzy.
Creativity is not a finite resource. It can be cultivated and developed over time with the right approach. And that’s what we need to remember in the Web3 space — that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. So take your time, be patient, and allow a realistic timeframe.
Inspiration can come from a variety of places, and it won’t come solely from the Web3 world. Sometimes you need to get out of the bubble, get off Twitter, get the hell out of your house and get back in touch with the world. Your ideas are going to be rehashed and recycled nonsense if they’re only coming from other NFT drops and projects.
When you’re feeling lost, or uninspired, look to other industries for inspiration. Look to other fields. Books. Podcasts. Shows. Content that doesn’t even touch on crypto in the vaguest sense. There are a plethora of groundbreaking ideas out there just waiting to be implemented in the Web3 space.
Don’t give up on your creative dreams. Persevere through the tough times and you will stand a better chance of eventually achieving your goals, than if you immediately duck, run, chop and change as soon as something doesn’t stick. The bear markets we go through in this space are a test of whether folks are here to build, or here for the hype.
If you can outlive the builders, traders, and investors who are only here because they want to make a quick buck, you’ll be at the top of the game when the next bull run hits. The projects that are admired the most today have been built through some of the hardest crashes anyone here has had to experience. Decentraland built through a bear market. At MODA DAO, we built through a bear market. And we’ll all be building through the next one, while fly-by-night projects throw in the towel as soon as the going gets tough.
Celebrate your creativity.
Give yourself credit for all the hard work you’ve put in and enjoy your accomplishments. Celebrate every damn win, no matter how small it is. Pat yourself on the back, take a break and then get back to work.
Being a creative person can be tough. You put in a lot of hard work, often with little recognition. In Web3, we are constantly comparing ourselves to folks who are achieving more, doing more and seem to be getting more out of life. It’s easy to feel discouraged, and it’s easy to give up. When you take the time to pinpoint the wins you’ve had, you can give yourself the encouragement you need to keep going.