You might think I am going to write about the advent of AI. I could, but not this week. I could also write about the launch of MySpace and the social media era (Friendster is a footnote, and Facebook became the 800-pound gorilla). I’m not. I could write about Disney, Netflix, or any number of other media companies. But instead, I am going to write about a song.
There was a moment in time when “Let It Be” did not exist, and then, overnight, it became a song. It was created out of a figment of imagination. You can say the same for “Hey Jude” and “Yesterday” (also written by the same person). The birth of “Hey Jude” was actually caught on camera in the “Get Back” documentary on Disney+, but today I’m writing about “Let It Be.”
The song, which will probably be played for thousands of years, was written and recorded in 1969 and released in 1970. That was three years before I was born, so that song has existed my entire lifetime. Not everyone can say the same. If you were born before 1969, you were alive in a world that had not heard that song, but you have continued to age in a world that has been influenced by that song. A song can change the world on numerous levels.
Humans have the capacity to create immortal ideas. A human can develop an idea into a song, and that song can be heard by almost every person on the planet in one form or another. It can shape lives and capture a moment in their minds forever.
You can say the same about the pyramids, which are probably the most amazing physical creation by humans -- and one that stands the test of time, literally. You can say the same about companies like Microsoft, Google and Apple that will be recognized as having changed the world dramatically just by their very existence.
Human beings have an incredible capacity for creativity. Our brains are wired for it, but sometimes we don’t foster it in the ways that we should. All the talk of AI the last few months means we need to focus more on our creativity. One reason is that we are the ones creating this technology. It is not creating itself. We are the ones whose minds are exploring the technology to allow us to free up our time, and we need to worry less about the implications and more on how we can use it to free up more of our creative brains.
Second, and this is the most important in my eyes, we can harness this technology to unlock the creative aspects of our day-to-day and bring about a second wave of creativity in digital media. The last couple of years in digital media have been a little boring, IMHO. Advertising and marketing have tapped into emotion, but otherwise been a little bit blah. I think this technology can be used to free us up to be more creative, and that is a welcome change.
The creative parts of our brain are what allowed a song like “Let It Be” to be written. It has impacted the world in ways Sir Paul could never have imagined. He was free to think differently, and I think we need to be freed up in the same way. What you want to create can have a similar impact, so why not tap into that portion of your brain, and find a way to “let it be”?
Or maybe I am just an idealist and an optimist wrapped all into one. Either way, I think the world could use a little more of both qualities these days.