Inspiration is a key component in any creative environment. It could come from a variety of sources ranging from the scenery to conversations had during the moment of an idea’s conception. The source of inspiration for most is unique to them and often reflects a combination of their personality and the project at hand.
For me, inspiration comes from a variety of sources. There are certain influences that spark project-oriented creativity while others have inspired me more on the long-term.
It’s always been something of a personal code for me to find inspiration in the people who do the things I want to do in life. For my part, being born with no inherent celebrity or financial means to build something big out of nothing, the largest influences (outside of my family) are people who have created successful businesses and/or generated some level of authority in their given field despite coming from a background that doesn’t necessarily support that path.
Steve Jobs certainly falls into that category. He was an orphan with a number of problems both personally and professionally. He and his business partner Steve Wozniak were hardly the perfect model for technology startups when Apple shipped its first computers, but through perseverance and patience, they went on to become two of the biggest and most influential names in technology.
Another inspirational figure to me is Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook. He doesn’t necessarily inspire me because of his financial or entrepreneurial success, but the fact that he was able to (though sheer intelligence and determination alone) accomplish something that thousands of genius-level developers and business owners were trying so desperately to do themselves. Sometimes, bending the rules is exactly what makes breaking records possible, and that’s a lesson that I take away from a socially awkward social network founder.
Howard Stern belongs in my list if only because he broke down boundaries that held back talk radio for years. This isn’t to say that I completely agree with his content, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone in the radio industry who doesn’t appreciate the fact that Howard Stern gave a then-dying broadcasting medium a new lease on life. He made being a DJ cool again.
More recently, I’d have to include Bobak Ferdowsi, aka “Mohawk Guy” on the list of inspirational figures. Despite being on the international stage and being directly associated with one of the greatest scientific projects in the history of mankind, he isn’t afraid to let his freak flag fly and do his part to make science more interesting. Before the famous landing of Curiosity, his team voted on the colors of his mohawk as a kind of de-stresser prior to the mission. As much as I’d love to take part in something that important some day, it’s enough of an inspiration simply to think about how to make the things I’m passionate about (science, technology, broadcasting) interesting to the viewer.
Short-term inspiration can appear when you least expect it. To me, this inspiration comes from the things I read and talk about with my friends and associates. Eddie Ringle and Chris Pirillo are two of my biggest regular short-term influences as we debate certain aspects of technology throughout the day. Some of my best articles started out as a casual conversation in the chatroom behind the scenes here at LockerGnome.
What Inspires You?
I’d like to close this one by bringing the question to you. What inspires you to do what you do each day? Are there any particular influences that helped you come up with an idea or project that you’re most proud of? Leave a comment below and share your story!