The 75% Solution

When it comes to creativity, you have to accept you don’t have the time to be a genius — even though you’ll have those genius moments.

Basel, Switzerland. Samuel Zeller/

I have a lot of projects that pass by my desk. Artists new to the game are trying to get their first — maybe second—idea financed. They want someone to believe in them like their mother believes in them. Honestly I hardly have the energy to care about their project.

I’m not trying to be harsh. It’s not like everything I see is garbage. Maybe just 75%, but more on that later.

Too many people think that having an idea is as good as gold. Just having the idea is not enough. I need proof. Proof that you can produce something from start to finish. An inkling that you are multifaceted. That you might be open to outside influences. Because whether it’s film, music or photography, nothing is created in a vacuum.

So back to the 75%. Often what stops us from starting a project — artistic or otherwise — is our concern about finishing it perfectly. We build it all up in our minds and don’t implement until we’ve ironed out every … single … detail. More time is spent thinking about doing then actually doing.

It’s starting to sound really self-helpy now. Just do it!

But what if you just did things up to 75%, then ran with it. Worked out 75% of the details in a project and action. Let 75% be your new 100% — or dare I say 110%. Nothing is stopping you from finishing the project. That other 25% can be worked out in production. That’s where your collaborators come in. Remember that vacuum I talked about.

Listen, perfection is overrated. The amount of time you need to achieve perfection just doesn’t exist.

So I’m going to stop the article here. I think I made my …