Are Developers True Creatives?

I recently had lunch at a well-known private club, which brands itself as exclusively for people in the “creative community.” 

I thought nothing of inviting a guest who was a very famous and accomplished tech developer.  Not surprisingly he showed up in typical 'business nerd' attire. He didn't look much like the typical creative guy you'd find in an agency, film studio, or the media business.

Not surprisingly,  I got a call from the membership director shortly thereafter about my guest not adhering to the club's  'casual hip' dress code. Basically, he didn't look cool enough. This got me today's digital age, are developers who write code any less creative than those of us who write ad copy, or even articles like this one? Can geeks who set the curve in high school math and physics, who don't shop at the right places and probably don't date models, be “'creative?” 

In short, do you have to be hip to be a true creative?   

There is no doubt on anyone's part that what tech developers do IS “creative.” The point in dispute is if they ARE “creatives” do they get to be a noun or not? The noun status of being 'a creative' affords you special rights. The right to be extra “sensitive,” the right to have people whose sole job is to organize your life, and protect you from all sorts of petty “distractions,” the right to be a prima donna if you want, as long as you just keep delivering those golden creative eggs that drive the business. 

And of course, the models. But unfortunately, nerds don't get the girl. Or maybe I should say nerds didn't used to get the girl. But that is going to change. It has to. 

It’s time to let these folks into the club, while there is a chance they will even accept the invitation. Or, the club itself is in danger of becoming hopelessly outdated.  Because not only are they true creative people, developers are also the most important creative people in the world today. The ones who most effect how we live and work.  In a few centuries, the Da Vinci’s of this era will be the developers who created Facebook, Google, and everything that determines the way we live.  

And what could ever be cooler than that? One day we may even see Zuckerberg at Cannes. I hope he has time to squeeze in some shopping. They have some nice T Shirts on the Riviera.

3 comments about "Are Developers True Creatives?".
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  1. Brian Allen from Altitude Digital Partners, July 31, 2013 at 1:01 p.m.

    Some of the coolest guys I know are coders. None of them would win a fashion show. This is a great example of Hip being completely subjective. What's sexy to me is changing the world one 0 at a time.

  2. Jason Ian Weissman from Bajibot, July 31, 2013 at 3:22 p.m.

    Talented coders no question belong in the creative department.

  3. Barbara Lippert from, July 31, 2013 at 5:12 p.m.

    Zuckerberg spoke at Cannes (in his T-shirt and hoodie) two or three years ago. Cannes is crawling with tech people, who have way supplanted agency and production people. they now own the cool seats on the Carleton Terrace.

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