Klaus Breyer Tech Leadership, Product Delivery & Startup Strategy.

The Creative Act, Rick Rubin, 2023

I love Rick Rubin. He has a very pragmatic no bullshit attitude - while still creating Art! (It is worth mentioning his podcast experiences in the Tim Ferris show 2015 and 2023).

He published a book about creativity last year, which spoke to me. His exploration of creativity and the underlying mindset also offers insights for everyone in tech, product, and leadership. Let the quotes speak for themselves.

The best artists develop good antennas.

The sense of market needs and technological trends is crucial, but so is the sense of how the teams behind them are feeling. When a leader sees him or herself as an artist, the team becomes the very “material” through which they work.

Solutions and inspiration are like a conveyor belt. They constantly come by; you just have to be open to them.

This translates to staying receptive to new ideas and continuously iterating on our products in the fast-paced tech industry.

When stuck or unsure of what to do, just write or do anything. The first thing that comes to mind. Stimulate yourself, inspire. Doing something leads to the next.">

Engaging in any productive task can often spark the breakthrough needed to move forward.

Incredible vulnerability comes through the sensitivity needed. Part of being an artist is overcoming this and publishing anyway.>

Lowering the stakes reduces the pressure.

In tech, we should release early, iterate often, and avoid being paralyzed by pursuing perfection.

Additionally, Rubin stresses the importance of timely releases: “Release while still having the connection. Don’t save it up. Releasing frees you for new, better ideas!” In the tech world, this means avoiding prolonged development cycles that can stifle innovation.

Consciously experiment, that’s the fun part. Develop the seeds with the most potential.

Ricks Framework is Seeds -> Experiments -> Crafting -> Completing."

Developing numerous “seeds” and experimenting with which has the most potential is a cornerstone of modern product management.

Failure is the information you need to get where you’re going.

Yes. Every setback is just new data. However, achieving this mindset in a team is more complex than if you are an individual artist. One should always fight to avoid the blame game.