Image from: Zulia24.com
There is a huge issue with the education system, because since the industrial revolution we have put a lot of focus on maths, English and science as the central path to success because those are the skills needed to succeed in an industrial setting and in business, however, by raising generations of people in this format, we have sold ourselves short of creative people. These kinds of people are the people that brought us the industrial revolution in the first place. At Urgos we believe that creativity is extremely important and is one of the pillars that hold up our company. You can see it in our design, and also in the way that we run our company. Creativity runs deep within our company, and we fully believe in ensuring that we are creative with our online content as well. We post a new blog every week, on different topics all the time, from Trump to tea and saving the planet one plastic bottle at a time. Of course, if you’re reading this it’s probably because you were a fan of those pieces, so I suppose we don’t need to tell you that!
Image from: Medium.com
The education system puts such a strong focus on academic subjects, that thousands upon thousands of people leave college each year and either go to uni because they think they have to succeed or they drop out because they are made to believe that they are insufficient or stupid because they don’t fit, they are artistic or can’t sit still for long enough. Let me ask you if you were asked to sit down for long stretches of time doing low-level clerical work, would you not fidget? Would you not be tempted to check your phone, chat with your friend or distract yourself in some way or another. There are some exceptional teachers, that are able to capture the imagination of their students, but this becomes more difficult when you work with older students that feel like they don’t belong in school. If you are in a system that makes you feel like the talents you have aren’t the right ones, then would you want to stick around? We seem to be stuck on the idea that we should treat 13-year-olds as children, but in a world that moves faster, is more accessible and encourages people to grow up much faster than they used to, could we argue this is an outdated approach?
I have always been treated as an adult, capable of making my own choices, and dealing with the consequences. If we treated students in school with the same respect and said that if you think that you are at your happiest in art class, then maybe you should do more art and fewer maths, maybe we would have a happier generation of people who are going for a wider variety of jobs. The current job market for young people is awful, and you almost have to have a masters before you’ve finished your undergraduate to be considered for a professional job, and I would argue that a portion of this is due to the fact that people are pushed into the same moulds. If you cookie cutter people into the same career path then you can’t be surprised when you have too many people applying for the same position. Some companies get so many applications they actually have to hire someone to come in and sort through their applications for them. How bureaucratic is that? At least one person gets a job I suppose!
On top of all this post education madness, we see a lot of issues within the education system. Not the least of them the diagnosis of ADHD. Of course, I believe that people do suffer from ADHD, and people do really struggle with it. However, academics and medics everywhere are in agreement that there is a problem in overdiagnosis. Adderall is the most common drug prescribed for ADHD and it is given to children as young as 4 or 5. What most people refuse to understand about this drug is that is is essentially speed. It is a methamphetamine that, when given to you on a daily basis, allows you to focus on tasks you might have found boring before. This means that people in high-pressure jobs are going to the doctors and lying about having ADHD so that they can get A grade, chemical level speed legally. These then get sold on, and this happens mostly on college campuses. According to ‘Take Your Pills’ it’s almost less common for people not to take them to help them study or help them strike a balance. Yet we give these out to children like they’re sweeties and parents say that they can’t cope with their children when they aren’t on it, so we have a generation of people who have been brought up on enhancement drugs, that don’t know who they are without it. There is no set test for ADHD, and so this problem could go on and on and on.
There is a TED Talk below, and within this Sir Ken Robinson tells a story of a young lady, who couldn’t concentrate on her work, was always fidgeting and chatting. Her teacher explained this to her mother and sent them to the doctors. When there, the doctor listened to everything the mother had to say and said that he needed to speak to the mother alone. As they left the room, they turned the radio on. As soon as the young girl was alone, she began to dance. The doctor turned to the mother and said, ‘Your daughter isn’t sick, she’s a dancer.” So, her mother sent her to dance school where she was surrounded by people like her. If she had been seen by another doctor and had been put on meds to sedate her so she fits into the cookie cutter mould used for everyone else, she may not have had the wonderful career in dance that she had had. She was with the royal ballet for years, the choreographer of CATS The Musical and many other musicals and she is a multi-millionaire. If that isn’t the success, I don’t know what is. But in school, she was told she was failing because she wasn’t the same as everyone else. This was Gillian Lynne.
So, what does this mean for creativity in business? Although I said before that science, maths and English, which are undoubtedly important, are the skills needed for business, I lied. The most sought-after thing in business is creativity. The companies that make the most money, that build the biggest companies, that have the best customer reactions are those that are built on creativity. You have to be creative to create something that is unique, especially now. With more products than ever before, more availability, more competition than ever, a USP is incredibly important. Whether that be something silly, something fun or a new addition to an old product that really helps give it a new lease of life.
Shark Tank (or Dragon’s Den in the UK) is a prime example of this. The Sharks have invested in hundreds of companies, and also let so many slip through their fingers. What are they looking for? A new angle, a new perspective, some creativity and individuality in their product or service, as well as the possibility of turning it into a million $$ company. Creativity in Business absolutely is the key to success. I have compiled some of the most creative Shark tank investments and I’ll tell you how they’re doing now to show you just how valuable having a creative edge can be!
1- Scrub Daddy
A simple product that creatively re-invented the sponge. The Scrub Daddy doesn’t scratch your children’s skin, it’s doesn’t hold any bacteria ( and doesn’t smell!) and it has a smiley face! By adding a few new features it became the Number One product, and has brought in over $75 million in profits!
2 – Tipsy Elves
This is an ‘ugly jumper’ company, that, first of all, pitched the Sharks a collection of ugly, funny and silly Christmas jumpers. It is now hugely popular and they use creativity in their designs, and they now sell a range of jumpers for different seasonal events all year round, including football! It is Robert’s most profitable investment and is a multi-million dollar company that brings in around $12 million in profits per year.
This piece of tech is working to save lives. In Season 5, Charles Yim got a five-Shark deal for Breathometer, a portable Breathalyzer that works with a smartphone. All five Sharks got in on a $650,000 deal for 30% of the company. After gaining more investment, they improved their device and also created one that is able to track your dental health by breathing into it. All of this is an example of how important it is to partner creativity with other skills to come up with the best product you can.
Al “Bubba” Baker, 1978 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, secured a deal with John in Season 5 for $300,000 in exchange for 30% equity in and licensing rights to his company, Bubba’s-Q Boneless Ribs. John told Business Insider that as someone who built a career in fashion, he never expected that his most profitable investment would be in a rib business. John helped Baker secure a deal with a large-scale food processing plant and said he thinks he can soon get Bubba’s-Q to become a national brand with $200 million in lifetime sales. This man was selling his recipe and his ethos to the Sharks, and they absolutely loved it! The recipe itself is closely guarded and has been developed by his family for many years, but the initiative and creativity and confidence to take it to the Sharks and say that he wants to push it nationwide is incredible.
5 – Grace and Lace
This company came to Shark Tank with a collection of knitted socks and scarfs that they had been selling, and now they have a huge business with an international humanitarian purpose. Below is a short clip of what they are doing now:
These are just the top five highest grossing companies that Shark Tank invested in, and they all have one thing in common. Creativity. They wouldn’t have got the investment they did without it, and with that creative and open mindset, they wouldn’t be able to have expanded into different areas the way they have. I’ve put links to each of their websites to see what each product looks like now. The list comes from Inc.com.
This is exactly why Urgos believes in the creativity in our business that sits behind our design, and also the creativity we use on a day to day basis. We are always trying to use the newest technology, the best form of communication and really we do try to create a sense of community and inclusion at all levels of our company. We may be small now, but we have the creativity, open-mindedness and dedication to allow us to grow.