Another candidate for the "Vindication File" I spoke of earlier. This one from Fast Company, which has been a monthly read of mine for years (I still have boxes full of the mag from the heady early Internet days, when each issue was the size of the Manhattan phone book). In it, Keith H. Hammonds pens a piece on Marshall Monroe, a Disney-trained, uber-creative consultant, and says:
"Do you believe in magic? It's tempting not to. For as often as big-company CEOs espouse bromides about innovation, there's still a global shortage of pixie dust.
Too much of what passes for creativity turns out to be small-scale rip-offs and design tweaks. When we went from two to three razor blades, that was a 'wow!' moment, By five blades, the thrill had passed."
It's tough to generate new magic (trust me; as a kid magician, I learned the ropes and gave it up when I became bored with the constant variation on the same three-or-four themes), and it's tough to generate new Surprise.
The two are intertwined. Slight-of-hand meet slight-of-head. What makes magic "Magic!" is the basic foundation of Surprise--expecting one thing, then being handed something else that's unexpected. In fact, that's the basic foundation of the entire entertainment industry. I've found a great quote from Warren Beatty on the element of Surprise in showbiz, and have put together a ridiculously-long post on the subject, which I'm currently trying to slice-and-dice into manageable chunks.
Until then, I'm gonna try to find me a wholesaler of Pixie Dust.