For a class in college, we read “The Professor’s House.” The protagonist, the professor, despite having a luxurious library on the bottom floor, choose to do all his writing in the attic. It had a had heater, a tiny desk, and an old, lumpy couch. That was all. I remember the instructor saying it was the perfect room to write; it had everything you needed. A place to write. And a place to sleep.
Looking at the above photo reminded me of her wisdom. It’s the room where the iPhone was born, a little device that has significantly changed the way the world uses technology, whether on the iPhone itself or the myriad devices that have followed. When they called it the Jesus Phone, I’m sure no one got the parallel: this room is no inn, all manger.
I love, love, love having the right gear, whatever I’m doing. Designing? Gimme a big, fat Mac. Running? Fit me out in Gortex. Cooking? Stainless steel please. I’m always thinking that with the right equipment I can excel and achieve even more. Sometimes I don’t even bother starting a project because, well, I don’t have the right things.
In truth, all we need is an idea and some guts. (Of course, having Steve Jobs as your taskmaster doesn’t hurt.)
In the photo, there’s no CSI, fancy-pants, moody-lit, virtual-reality lab. It’s a goddamn anodyne corporate meeting room with bad chairs and probably smells of breath mints. Hell, even the photo is crappy.
It’s a great lesson.
The real tools of creativity and ingenuity ain’t the stuff in the room, it’s the stuff in your head.