(VIDEO) The Yahoo Story: Does REMOTE WORK HURT Innovation?


How do you manage ideas? What’s the first thing you do when you have an innovative thought? Let’s find out all the insights with Luis!

Recently, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said: “Innovation isn’t always a planned activity; it’s bumping into each other over the course of the day and advancing an idea you just had.” But does it work this way? Wouldn’t you prefer to rapidly pitch a colleague through Slack than waiting to bump into each other?

The truth is, a great way to carry out ideas is by focusing on who could help you make them come true. But don’t wait until you accidentally bump into your teammate, pitch them through your communication channel as soon as you come up with the idea! Then you’ll have time to talk things through.

Watch the video to know more!


Let’s talk about the Yahoo story. Does remote work hurt innovation?

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to Virtual Coffee Chat with Luis. I am your host and let’s have a little, tiny, tasty, snip, sip.

Let’s talk about innovation. And I have a little quote here, and, in my beautiful iPad. And that’s no coincidence because this quote comes from Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, ” Innovation isn’t always a planned activity. It’s bumping into each other over the course of the day and advancing an idea you just had.”. You know how else I can advance an idea I just had Tim? I can type it out in Slack, to a friend, that I think could be interested. This is very funny because when I think about ideas, when I have ideas, I don’t just wait until I bump into someone to discuss them.

I immediately think when I have an idea, I immediately think, “Well, who would be a really good fit to bounce this idea off?” Right? And if that person is actually on my contacts, I’ll send them an email or a Slack message or WhatsApp or whatever. I don’t need to… it’s not like I have an idea. And then, okay… there it goes. Let us stay in the head for a little bit and let’s hope I bump into someone. Let’s I bump into someone that actually makes sense to talk about this idea with. No, that’s just stupid actually. So, sorry Tim, I still love my iPad though, don’t hate me, I buy all of your stuff. So anyway… Look, this is the arguments for serendipity. The argument from serendipity is that you… when you have random encounters in your workday, the conversations that you have with those people lead to inspiration. It’s a passive form of creation versus an active form of creation. Now, that’s true. Spontaneous, passive creation does exist, but that’s really unreliable. And personally, as a writer, if I just go about my daily business and wait until an idea strikes me to write the next scene or the next chapter, on one of my books, no books shall be written in any reasonable timeframe.

What every writer, who has a book out there, knows is that you need disciplined creativity. Disciplined creativity happens when you have a set time, you set apart 1, 2, 3 hours, whatever, for whatever time you can set apart, to sit down in front of a blank piece of paper or screen- realistically screen? …in front of a blank screen, you see that little blinking cursor there, and now you’re alone with the white page and the cursor and your brain for 3 hours.

And you will go insane, unless you come up with something to write. So I’m talking specifically about writing, but there’s no reason why every other problem can’t be approached this way. Here’s the reality. What you need to have creativity is blank space. That’s the most important thing for creativity. And you know when you don’t have blank space? When you have a highly optimized routine, where you have X time for this, X time for that, you have that meeting at 12:00, then you bump into Jane, from whatever department, and you chit chat with her for a bit, then you meet Bob, and you’re just sick of Bob- sorry, Bob… we’re just sick of Bob, but you need to be polite anyway.

So that’s the situation. And then you need to sit down and you have some reports to deliver, and there’s just no space for that in the regular… the way the regular office works. And I know that some big companies, like Google, make [two panes 00:04:35] to create an offer… an office environment that’s, more open-ended, where people can manage to carve out time for inspiration, but they’re still in the bird cage. It might be a gilded cage. It might be a very, very spacious cage, but it’s still a bird cage.

Now, on one of my first podcasts about remote work, my guest, Trevor [Lounge 00:05:00], who has become a good friend and mentor over the years, said something that I’ll always remember. That something is that sometimes work happens when you’re out for a walk. And that’s also very true. Again, the key for creativity is blank space. I personally prefer the page, but sometimes you’re stuck, looking at that cursor. So, you go out for a walk. What you don’t do is you going to the office where there are a thousand distractions, a thousand things, battling for your attention. And you’re also bumping into people and then bumping into someone, magically generates an idea.

Sorry, I don’t buy it. That works for atoms, not people. So that’s where I stand. And I think that’s a very reasonable proposition.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments. If you enjoyed this Virtual Coffee Chat, please press like, subscribe, and share around. And let me know in the comments. What do you think about creativity? Is the office really good for creativity? Where are you actually more creative at home on your own time with a flexible schedule… Please let me know and also visit thinkremote.com for the latest and greatest news, tools, tips, guides, and how to on remote work. See you tomorrow.


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