Stakes and mistakes

Consider these thoughts from John Lasseter, a founder of Pixar, as he was interviewed by Charlie Rose:

"Pixar’s in-house theory is: Be wrong as fast as you can. Mistakes are an inevitable part of the creative process, so get right down to it and start making them. Even great ideas are wrecked on the road to fruition and then have to be painstakingly reconstructed. Every Pixar film was the worst motion picture ever made at one time or another…”

We’ve all heard about the importance of making mistakes as we go through the creative process. But often times an important component is left out: the stakes. If the stakes are high, like when I’m a passenger in a plane, I don’t want the pilot to feel free to make mistakes on his way to the next destination. But if we’re beginning to write a script for a play, I can blow through a lot of mistakes knowing I have the time and opportunity to go back and refine until it’s finished (or the deadline hits). So: the higher the stakes, make less mistakes; the lower the stakes, make more mistakes.


We had a great vacation last week. Here's a "boardwalk to fun".