Lab Notes

Finding Inspiration in Everyday Things

When asked recently, “Where do you draw your inspiration from?”

I answered “Nature.”

At GoKart, we often reference Eric Ries – of the Lean Startup, Tim Brown – of IDEO, and Luke Wroblewski – of Google.

And while industry thought leaders do inspire me, my most inspired moments come from nature.

I’ve been thinking more about why, and here’s what I’ve learned.

I draw a sense of wonder and calm from being in the woods. Ideas arise more naturally. I love the patterns, beauty, and the way everything just seems to come to exist.

When I return to work, my time spent in nature gives me confidence that patterns will emerge from even the toughest problems—and beautiful things will grow from the mud.

IMG_0067 + CREATING

 

What inspires your best work?

Understanding what inspires your work makes us all better thinkers and creators.

To learn what inspiration means to others around me, I asked a few fellow GoKarters the question: “What inspires you to do great work?”

Here’s what they had to say:

Jim Cuene (President)

I love history.  I love reading about the choices leaders made in the middle of great change. Specifically, how their values and their understanding of current events led them to make tough and courageous strategic choices. 

I get inspired by musicians who follow their urge to create and invent today, when it seems like it’s impossible to say important things in new ways. Yet, the best artists seem to have a muscle the rest of us don’t.

Micah Kulish (Marketing Coordinator)

I am inspired by chaos. Online, as in a city, we are bombarded with noise and distraction. Horns honking, banners flashing, listicles promising to change your life. Every call-to-action melts into a continuous backdrop of droning noise in our lives. In the face of constant overload comes the need for clarity and beauty.

I love seeking out instances when different forms of distraction merge to create harmony. When honking horns sync with neon lights. or when an abandoned building takes on the feeling of an art piece.

My aim is to simplify the excess and find harmony in the chaos.

Matthew Volenec (Strategist)

Art. Painting – sometimes you just need to start something and let it evolve. There is a process of discovering what something wants to be. With clay, there is a form in your hands and there are things it can do or not do. You can work with the material or against it. You have to get in and go with the flow.

Then you get strategic about where you are going to make your changes. I’ve discovered that there is always something you can do to make a thing better. I can figure out if something is better or worse & why. I use this practice in my work every day.

We’d love to hear in the comments what part of your everyday life inspires your work.

 

GoKart is a digital invention lab. To learn more about our services, contact us here: [email protected]

A heady blend of three-parts strategist and one-part project manager, Jackie moonlights as a yogi and helps keep our collective vibe firmly planted in its zen space. Bubbling with infectious energy, she’s also relied upon to guide on-demand deep breathing exercises to level the mood (or take the edge off a quadruple cold-press buzz).

  1. I’m lucky that the office for my day job is about 3/4 block walk from the store where I sell hummus as a side business.

    My day job is mainly sitting in front of a computer doing all kinds of e-commerce related tasks for http://www.Fishflix.com – my side job is selling hummus.

    That task shift from e-commerce to “hands on product” with – in person partners and customers really stimulates my mind. I don’t know if Home Town Hummus will ever be my day job, but it sure helps me stay engaged and inspired in my day job.

    1. Jake,

      Almost everyone at GoKart has side projects——Bands. Bags. Books. Extracts. Amazing how a diversity of interests makes it easier to connect disparate ideas and solve problems. Thanks for adding your thoughts!

  2. Love your comments about inspiration from nature. We have designed a project called ProtoGP to help people design, build, manufacture and race their own karts. Looking to collaborate with kindred spirits globally!