From Inspiration to Implementation
Tina Seelig

I discovered your article and work through your recent AMA on reddit. I found many of your points interesting and am planning on reading some of your books. I am an undergraduate student at the University of Washington where there are also some unique programs attempting to teach innovation and creativity in academic manners. However I am currently not of the opinion that abstract creativity is a “skill” worth being taught in an academic manner.

You give the example of Kate Rosenbluth utilizing these creative steps in approaching biodesign problems. However the only thing I see accomplished by separating her development process into your four steps seems to be giving support to your concept. Labeling them doesn’t change what she does She is an engineering developing new ideas using the skills and knowledge she has available in that field. If Ms. Rosenbluth were educated in innovation and creativity the same way she is educated in science and engineering, how would that make her a better candidate for this work?

I personally don’t think creativity can be abstracted. What defines creativity is markedly different in every field. Often times all visual art is considered creative while mathematics is not while in reality there are uncreative and creative individuals in both fields. I think excelling in a field directly leads to innovation and entrepreneurship.

You’ve probably heard the joke/argument that Bill Gates never read a “10 Steps to become a Billionaire Book”. Although creativity and innovation are valuable they are immeasurable. I hope this does not sound rude, I honestly respect your work and ideas, but the reason you can voice these ideas to an audience is because you hold a PhD in neuroscience from Stanford and have years of professional and academic experience, not because you are creative (although you certainly are).

This is simply a not particularly well composed series of opinions/impressions but I would be grateful to hear a response.