Good artists copy, great artists steal!
Let me explain this a bit. I have learned a bit about the history of Apple in the last weeks and it is truly interesting and I would recommend people to have a peek. But back to “good artists copy, and great artists steal”!
A good artist according to this quote is someone who has a talent and is able to reproduce a piece of that has been created before. He does not create new things and he doesn’t change the world by copying something interesting. Still he has the talent to create a good product after an existing model.
But the difference between good and great is the ability to recognise a work of art and to create something great out of it.
Steve Jobs went to Xerox Parc where they showed him the mouse, a computer network before there was internet or any other network connecting computers and the graphical display. As a great artist he went back to Apple and created a better version knowing that this would be the future of personal computing. He didn’t invent anything knew or copied an existing product, he stole and improved after he realised what would become the future of computers.
This is the lesson of this sunday quote. Copying doesn’t make you stand out from the crowd. It is the ability to realise what has the power to evolve into something exceptional and “insanely great” piece of art that you know you have to steal it and turn it in this direction.
In business school you learn that you will probably not be the first one having your great idea. If nobody thought of it than it probably is not so important. But you can be the one who has success by realising how to reach the customer with your vision for this idea.
Most of you who read blogs, know great artists. They were not the first but they are the best. Be a great artist.