Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Creativity as a commodity-Do you understand what it takes?

We find ourselves surrounded by people that create for a living. For those of us on the business side of the wine industry, this is something we may never fully understand. Imagine how difficult it is to create something, then do that on spec, then do that through a series of challenges, and then imagine trying to find that inspiration on a daily basis. Couple that with constant failures, frustration & self doubt. This is the life of an artist. It holds true through all mediums. Think of all of the tortured artists, musicians, actors, etc. Now, think of a winemaker or chef in the same light. If they are good, they are somewhat tortured. They struggle to find inspiration. They struggle on a daily basis with what they create.

Now take yourself, in a tie, driving around all day selling wine. Sometimes you have a winemaker as a passenger, sometimes you don't get along. Sometimes they beat you up. This is a sign that you don't understand what it takes to do what they do. You call on chefs, sometimes they seem erratic. You don't understand why their standards are different than yours. You can't seem to relate to their approach. It is not for you to question why. When working with creative types, you need to maximize their potential for success. You don't need to set the parameters. Your standard and their standard are probably different. That's ok, because it's their name on the bottle or on the menu, not yours.

Your job is easy, you can leave it at the office. People that create never punch in or out. That doesn't mean they work harder, it's just impossible for them to separate their brain functions. Sounds like you don't want to deal with them? Well, you do. They are the pinnacle of our industry. The people that create are the reasons you have a job. If you take the easy road, you'll never end up on top. If you can align yourselves with the needs of the creative people, you'll always be on top.


  1. Well said. When we understand the creative (and emotional) process of our clients we can better serve them.


  2. A great note. I find myself on the other side of this coin, and find it hard to understand that other dont share my constant obsession.

  3. I love your insite on the creative aspect. I completely agree that we need to let them run with their passion as they come up with the brilliance we all need.