Friday, February 7, 2014

Of Blankets and Cookies and the Creativity of Convenience

While the human condition is a rather confusing hodgepodge of ideas, emotions and answering the "Great Questions" of life, there are a few things in life that are absolutely one hundred percent certain. For instance, try as you might, you will never properly put in a USB on your first try. It’s impossible. Along the same lines, it is a well established fact that winter in Chicago is going to be cold. 
At least there are lumberjacks.

There is nothing inherently creative about the cold. However, what continues to amaze me is how human beings DEAL with the cold. And I’m not talking wearing four layers while having in your toes tucked in boot heaters (although on the topic of creativity, as a former skier, if asked, I think I would marry whoever made electronic boot heaters). I’m talking about essentially having everything you need at your fingertips so there is virtually no reason to go outside. 

It used to be that if you wanted to eat in the winter, you either had to stock up, or go out and get food. No longer! You don’t even have to order takeout, you can literally have someone go grocery shopping for you (, and that’s not an online grocery store. That is a website that hires personal shoppers to pick out your pears for you. On that note, it’s not entirely new to have food delivered to your house, but it is exciting when thing
You're welcome.
s like pop up with the ability to deliver hot cookies to your doorstep. Yes, you heard me right. Hot cookies delivered at your doorstep. We have truly reached the pinnacle of evolution. Also, if you are a Utero-American (or want to give a thoughtful, yet extraordinarily creepy gift), there is a website ( that will sync up with your cycle and send you a predetermined package in the mail filled with art, chocolate, and the necessary monthly supplies. 
Now, are any of these services particularly new? Not really. The idea of delivering to a home is not a new one. However, I would argue the process of getting these services is inherently innovative. Figuring out the processes on how to get these products to the correct locations in a logical manner while keeping the integrity (such as the heat from the cookies) of the goods intact requires an extreme amount of foresight and planning. Speaking from a logistics perspective, I assure you that creating the packaging that makes all of these product possible is most definitely creative. While these types of inventions and innovations may not be considered a "Big C", adapting these services to the modern age brings in a "new C". The creativity of convenience. And, if I am one hundred percent honest with myself while writing this under my covers, this "new C", is pretty dang great.

1 comment:

  1. I like that you point to convenience as an entirely independent form of creativity because it complicates our understanding of how motivation functions within the creative act. If innovation occurs for the sake of convenience, we're left to ask specifically who that convenience serves--ourselves or everyone else? If I managed to figure out a way to get snacks from the fridge without having to get out of bed, I would totally laud my own creativity. But I'm not sure I would necessarily share this created convenience with others.When delivery services such as the ones you mention are developed by creative people, one has to consider whether they were born from an intrinsic altruism or if they were created for extrinsic gain. This question is dependent on each individual context, but it seems safe to say that it's a combination of both. Is a wholly intrinsically motivated innovation possible? Or is there always some extrinsic satisfaction hanging over the head of the creator? I'm going to order a delivery pizza and ponder this.


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