Pandora/Creativity Paradox (reposted from Oct. 2008)


Reposted from Oct. 2008

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Creativity is all about connecting seemingly unrelated things to form something fresh and unexpected. And Pandora Jukebox introduces you to stuff you should like based on what you do like. What’s my point? Sit back and let me explain.

As a creative professional, my passion lies (lays? Grammar Girl, Help!) in knowing a little bit about a lot. I’m curious about everything from theoretical physics to how roof shingles are made. These teeny-tiny nuggets of knowledge are what I call “dots”. And when I’m searching for an idea, I try to connect these dots. The more dots I have, the better my odds are for hitting the big idea jackpot!

Enter Pandora. For sake of comparing apples to apples, the songs played in Pandora will be called dots. Do you see where I’m going with this? If not, hang tight. I’m closing the loop. In order for Pandora to be a good source for discovering new songs (dots, remember), you need to create lots of “stations” of lots different artist/genres and so on. But the system is flawed because you’ll get plenty of repeats, which will sound like your local Top 40 radio station. Not cool.

The solution? Fake it. Create stations around artist/songs you wouldn’t normally purchase. You know, the ones you sing along with in the car but won’t shell out $.99 for on iTunes. Better yet, get a friend to load a bunch of his crappy stuff. The result? A whole lotta cool new stuff.

Finally, closing the loop. Start learning about stuff you’ve avoided and collect some valuable dots.

Tune-Deaf Scott Brown Opens Pandoras Jukebox.

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