The Foundation for Creativity

Creativity requires both scarcity and certainty.

Constraints lead to the creative impulse: we build new things because the way things are isn’t perfect and never will be, and the things we create emerge within the limits of the resources available. (Sometimes, the purpose of innovation is to change the constraints. It often has that effect.)

But creativity — at least the kind you think of in an office — also requires some degree of certainty. There’s a fine balancing point between feeling so secure that innovation seems threatening and just secure enough that innovation doesn’t feel like an existential risk.

That point varies from person to person, time to time, and project to project. Designing a system to find and maintain it for yourself is a worthwhile task indeed.