Perhaps due to the frenzied runup to Christmas and the pandemic, I find myself getting introspective again.
Coming from a literature and humanities background in school, how the heck did I end up in the industry that functions with bits and bytes? Isn’t this, gasp, math?! Where is the creativity in something so solid and defined?
How does creativity thrive in the digital industry? This is a question I am asked time again by people I meet.
It is no surprise to us in the digital industry that everyone is now leaning heavily on services we provide, be it through logistics, food, business solutions or just processes. The digital platform has been a balm to the things that the pandemic has shown us; a gaping hole will be left should things shut down.
What has not been so obvious is that though we operate with a semi-rigid set of rules (cybersecurity, for example), we are one of the most creative industries out there. It takes a certain measure of creativity to get stuff done and find ways that were not marked out before to solve problems that have not been thought of yet. Sometimes I step back from and say, “How will this affect what we already have?”
There are parts of the digital world that are wonderful, and this is one of them. It keeps us on our toes, just like what real-life problems do to us.
In addition, there must be some sort of psychic exercise to it — that you have to be able to predict what the market will want from you and how you’re going to solve that problem. In doing so, you find ways to use the technology at your fingertips to help people. Is it through social media? How will it impact a business if they have an app? Will it help to have a website?
I suppose this can be asked about any industry: How can my industry help innovate my partners or clients’ businesses? The aim is to make processes more streamlined. It has, in the last two decades, redefined the way communication is done. In this regard, I believe it is in the inherent but subliminal way of being creative that helps push these platforms and ideas forward.
I think technology and creativity fit like hand to glove. I believe Bill Gates, however much of a programming expert, was driven by creativity to solve a problem that presented itself, or something that he thought he could improve on. That is why we have Microsoft Office in our everyday lives.
Similarly, Steve Jobs was driven by trying to confront a problem or a system creatively. Now we have the iPhone, iPad and the redesign of Macintosh. He also redefined how we listen to music, and how it is shared.
Mark Zuckerberg redefined the way we socialize with each other through Facebook. If you were there in the early days of Facebook, you needed an invite to be able to use it. It took the want of people to belong to create a website where billions of people are now hooked. It takes creativity for technology to thrive.
We are now at a point in human history where people are more reliant on technology than ever. Add a pandemic, and it is now virtually as part of our day as breathing. Where will the creativity of technology take us next? Where is the next logical evolution of this industry? I for one, am hopeful and very excited, because I want to be able to help the Philippine landscape, through working with corporate partners, LGU, NGO and artists, evolve and reach the potential I know it has residing in it. Exciting stuff, right?