Run Your Own Race

Powerful perspective about competition and the creative process from Jimmy Iovine at the Code conference. [1:20 excerpt]

transcript follows…

Kara Swisher: Who do you consider your competition in doing this? What you’re doing now? Is it Spotify?

Jimmy Iovine: You know when you’re making music, you don’t look at what’s going on in the studio next to you. You run your own race.
We’re creating something that has to have a feel, and we have to get it mainstream, we have to do a bunch of things at once. We don’t think about competition. We run our race. We market our race. We have a lot of information—Apple has a lot of information—about music, and what people listen to, and what they like, and who likes what. And, you know, hopefully we can use some of that, and we’re going to do everything we can, but competition is not how people who come from what I do think.
I mean yeah, all the labels and stuff like that, but what I’m talking about the creative process. You know, and every now and then, you know, I guess if Bruce Springsteen is in the studio, he’ll think about, you know, that… the U2 song that’s out, and say I’ve got to make one better, or the Stones with The Beatles, but we don’t think like that everyday. You know, you run… you try to do something different.
See, a lot of what goes on, like, you know, it’s interesting, because a lot of what goes on that I see in consumer electronics—and now that I’ve been involved in it, I’ve been somewhat successful—is you copy what somebody successful did. And that goes against everything that the creative process is. It’s embarrassing to copy, you know, if you’re really great, you know.
[emphasis added]

While I believe in learning from each other, and being inspired by the great work my friends and colleagues are doing; to copy, to be asked to copy, or to consistently use someone else’s work is the surest way to cauterize the soul of a creative person.

A creative person, in an overly busy, copy-cat environment, who is not given the freedom or space to daydream and create will enter fight or flight mode.

Thinking back on 25 years of ministry experience, I wish all my type A, results-oriented pastor friends could understand this.

This video is part of a larger discussion about Apple’s recent purchase of Beats and what that means for both companies. This excerpt is from the video, “Eddy Cue and Jimmy Iovine at the Code Conference.”


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