How To Build A Creative Business

How To Build A Creative Business

Welcome to Episode 1 of The Creative Life podcast. In this first episode, I discuss how to build a creative organization and ask the question, what is a creative business?

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In this episode you’ll discover:

    • How do we build creative businesses?
    • How do you build an innovative company?
    • The two dangers entrepreneurs fall into when trying to build a creative business.
    • Why creativity is about more than gimmicks.
    • The myth of the smart person syndrome.
    • Why people are more important than ideas.
    • Developing a creative team.
  • How to find, develop and support good people?

Please leave a comment below and tell me what you think.


Hi, it’s James here. A question I’m asked time and time again as I travel around the world meeting lots of entrepreneurs is, how do we build creative businesses? How do we build innovative companies? It’s a great question because every entrepreneur, at the heart, wants to create the Disneys of this world and the Apples of this world. You look up, as an entrepreneur, to the Walt Disneys or the Steve Jobs.

There’s two dangers I see entrepreneurs falling into when they’re thinking how to build a creative business. The first one is very simple. The second one is a little more difficult to kind of get over.

The first one is gimmicks. Having worked in Silicon Valley, myself, for a number of year, I’ve seen my fair share of gimmicks within companies and in the start-ups. This is everything from the fussball table, to the slide in the corner of the room, to the funky art. Frankly, some of these are great fun, but they don’t contribute to actually having a creative company and to a creative business. That’s kind of relatively easy to deal with.

The second one is actually more deep seated. The second one is something I see recurring time and time again, and a mistake that entrepreneurs are making time and time again. It’s called the smart person syndrome. It’s this idea that if you just get enough smart people in the room, then they’ll automatically come up with incredibly innovative ideas for their products, and services, and creative companies. Frankly, if you’ve ever spent any time going around different businesses, you’ll see lots of examples of businesses that have lots of really, really, smart people, and they’re incredibly uninnovative and uncreative as businesses. Smart people does not equal innovative and creative companies.

How do we actually create a creative business? How do we create these kinds of creative companies we’re talking about? The first thing is to think about actually what is really important. I would argue that ideas as the engine of any creative business comes from people, therefore, people are more important than ideas. I would rather I had the right team of people and the right chemistry than necessarily having the right idea. Ideas can come and go as well, but if I’ve got the right team with the right chemistry, then they’re going to generate the ideas that are going to help sustain a business for decades to come. That’s the first point on that. It’s much better to build and to get a team that performs well than necessarily the individual talents or individual talented workers within your team.

Once you’ve kind of built this team and got this chemistry right within your team, it’s really then thinking about how you can find, develop, and support, good people. That’s what having a creative business is about. It’s about the people. It’s actually not about necessarily the ideas. If you want to build an innovative company, find the right people, develop them in the right way, and support them on their journey, and help them flourish as creative individuals. That’s how you build a creative company. That’s how you build an innovative business. My name’s James Taylor.


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