Surrounded by thieves!

Kane Kramer! Who!?

He’s the British inventor who invented the first digital audio player, which he creativity named the IXI. He invented, designed and manufactured his audio player back in 1979 a full 22 years before the release of the iPod. In fact at least 7 companies released mp3 players to the market before the iconic iPod became mainstream and since that date 100s probably 1000s of other companies have used the same technology to produce and for the most part unsuccessfully sell their own version of the ipod. 

So what made Apple’s contribute to the world of digital audio players so impactful? 

Apple has always been clear in their vision for themselves. They believe in a mission. They stand by their beliefs. Call it arrogance, call it vainglory, call it what you will but they know, without a shadow of a doubt that they are the best at what they do. For the simple fact that they are the only ones trying to do it! Only they can achieve what they set out to achieve because they are focussed on their own Why. They did not invent the computer nor were they the first or last to bring mp3 players to the market. They are by no means the only company who uses white boxes to house their products nor the only to pick a random fruit or vegetable to be their company name. 

They are not doing anything new. In fact very few people are doing anything particularly new. Most of us are taking something that exists and putting a personal twist on it. We take an idea and innovate it. We see a problem and we attempt to fix it. We see an opportunity and we claim it. 

And yet time and time again I hear complaints in the industry that I work in about theft - of ideas, visions, concepts, knowledge, skills etc. 

My first reaction is pity. I pity to person who believes that their personal brand of genius, the idea that they have worked so hard for, their vision, their identity and their value is so fragile that it can be “stolen”. I’m not talking about copyright, the use of other’s images or the blue-prints to an invention that someone swopped in, mission impossible style and swiped out of the safe. I’m talking about inspiration. As artists we inspire, at least that’s the goal of most artists I know. To foster thought, reflection and yes, in some case that leads to an element of copycatting or imitating,  - which perhaps it’s naive of me to be proud of.

I will admit that I used be afraid of this too. I thought that if someone used the same furniture I do in a shoot as I do, had the same techniques as me, or mastered the same poses as I do that it would some how effect me and my business. What I didn’t realise then is that it was my fear, my vulnerability and my closed-ness (not to mention my ego) that was more likely to affect my business than someone else who was inspired by me, moved by me, or quite probably someone who has been inspired by the work of the same people who inspire me. 

Though learning about myself and my own authentic drives, vision and talents I now know that my success belongs to me as yours belongs to you. 

It belongs to every part of what makes me who I am, every sorrow and joy that I’ve experienced, every inspiration that has stimulated me, every failure and every triumph. If I fail tomorrow, it’s on me, and if I rise that win is also mine to celebrate.

I beg you to faith in yourself and in your achievements. 

I implore you to stand up and be counted for what impact you make every day rather than trying to live every day off the brainwave you had one day. 

Innovate, grow, stretch, learn, believe in yourself and what more you are capable of.

You are better than this. You owe yourself pride. You owe yourself respect. 

You deserve to realise the value of the unique contribution that you make to the world.

Image concept "stolen" from the inspirational Zaira Zarotti