The Unified Principle of Innovators

…anyone read the july wired article, “what kind of genius are you?”…the theory put forward is that while picasso, orson wells and maya lin broke through as twentysomethings; if cezanne, alfred hitchcock or frank loyd wright had died at age 30, no one would have ever heard of them…the research and data compiled by Prof. David Galenson, University of Chicago, indicates that there are two distinct types of innovators…conceptualists, who excel early on and never quite do anything approaching their initial success, and experimentalists, who peak later in life and who’s work continues at levels significantly higher than their precosious counterparts…interesting stuff, and it flies in face of the ‘youthful rockstar designer’ archetype with which our profession (and those who engage us) seem so obsessed…long live starck and graves.

It’s interesting because that youthful rockstar thing the mags like to report on seems pretty rare in reality. Look at Bill Stumpf, Niels Diffrient. Most of the really talented ones here at work are the guys that have been doing it for twenty years, you feel like you learn things just walking by them…

Yeah, great article!

The photo of the experimentalist looks like an industrial designer to me…

…totally!..i 've cawled out from under similar piles of crumpled paper many times…been a while since i’ve used or even seen my t-square though.

Although he cultivates a youthful image, Philip Starck was 49 when he “broke out” in the mid nineties.

Any studies out there analyzing the age of a TEAM working together and their creativity productivity, or their client satisfaction rate? Although interesting, if you think only of youself, I don’t see how this data applies to a working professional, unless you work by and for yourself (and drink plenty of Absinthe :slight_smile:)