Think You Have A Great Idea? Sometimes It's Best To Sleep On It

CANNES, FRANCE -- The creative process is challenging. There are some advertising pitches that are just awful. There are epic failures. But bad ideas can lead to something. Or they may not. 

Gerry Graf, founder, chief creative officer, Barton F. Graf delivered one of the more memorable Cannes speeches while sitting in a bed wearing pajamas with colleagues Ming's Linus Karlsson and +Castro Innovation House's Nicolas Pimentel.  

For a few minutes the three men pretended to sleep on stage. The audience then danced along to Justin Timberlake and finally 10 members joined the stage to sing La Bamba. 

"We are collaborating on the collaboration," said Graf. 

The presentation was an interactive display of what collaboration can achieve.  "It is an easy word to say, but when it comes to doing, it is hard," said Pimentel. “Collaborations are about reaching THE idea. Someone who has an original take on the world.” 

Good ideas come from the unexpected, they say. "It happens when we don't see it," says Graf. He also advises people to "obey the overnight s**t test. Everyone has been there at 2 a.m. jumping up and down saying 'we nailed it.' You go home and the next day you say, 'what the f**k was that?"  

This 2 a.m. test is why it is important to have a thick skin. "If someone doesn't like an idea, don't make it personal," says Pimentel. "The idea is stupid. Not yourself."

Still, people need to know the difference between when to fight and when you just like something because it is yours, they say. As Graf says, “the majority is always wrong, the minority is rarely right.” 

Ultimately, they believe you should only collaborate with people you know and trust. And when you have a bunch of people sitting on your bed that you don't know or trust? The only solution is karaoke. "The worse you are at it, the best it is," says Graf. 


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