Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. – Thomas Edison
Last week’s 99% Conference, organized by Behance and Cool Hunting, had an energetic lineup of speakers. Accomplished and creative minds shared how they make ideas happen. Unlike other conferences, 99% shifts the focus from idea generation to idea execution. In addition to presenting Cool Hunting’s visually exciting original videos, Josh Rubin shared his own mantra, “There are no new ideas, just great executions.” Designer extraordinaire Yves Behar starts his process with questions, not answers. He challenged the audience, “Good design accelerates the adoption of new ideas.” Diego Rodriguez of IDEO and the Stanford Design School offered these words of advice, “Prototype as if you are right. Listen as if you are wrong.” Other presenters included Jared Cohen of Google Ideas, digital strategist Soraya Darabi, Pixar’s Dr. Michael Johnson, among others. Scott Belsky, Behance CEO and author of Making Ideas Happen, shared tips on how to overcome reactionary workflow. Spend time organizing your creative ideas into three categories: action steps, backburner ideas, and reference items. He later held an onstage conversation with Beth Comstock, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer at GE. As a trustee of Cooper-Hewitt, Beth is an active advocate for design’s role in business. She shared how GE develops new projects, including prototypes of projects that didn’t quite happen over the 130 years of the company’s history. And so GE’s culture of innovation quickly developed and expanded, leading to some of their most interesting work like the GE Global Research Center. Thomas Edison founded General Electric and his legacy and spirit of innovation lives on in this conference.