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Harvesting Your Dots


I never liked Dots. Every time I popped one into my mouth, I thought it might pull out a filling. But artistic dots, now they’re a whole ‘nother story.

In “The Art Of Asking“, Amanda Palmer movingly writes about collecting, connecting, and especially, sharing personalized dot-connected products as follows:

 Collecting the dots. Then connecting them. And then sharing the connections with those around you. This is how a creative human works. Collecting, connecting, sharing. This impulse to connect the dots—and to share what you’ve connected—is the urge that makes you an artist. If you’re using words or symbols to connect the dots, whether you’re a “professional artist” or not, you are an artistic force in the world. You’re an artist when you say you are. And you’re a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected. – Amanda Palmer

If you think mining and connecting seemingly random dots is difficult, exposing the resultant products for all to see can be downright scary. The fear of rejection is always lurking in the background.

Amanda’s dotty insight reminds me of the greatest commencement address I ever heard – Steve Jobs’s speech to Stanford grads in 2005. In that inspirational talk, Steve chronicled how he unknowingly collected his dots over the years and then serendipitously connected them together into the idea that led to the birth of the world-changing Macintosh computer.

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life – Steve Jobs

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m full of… dots. I’ve got a boatload of dots hiding out in the deep recesses of my mind that are just waiting to be internally connected and externally shared. This blog is one catalyst for coaxing some of those cleverly concealed dots out of hiding, connecting them together, and sharing the result.

Collect Connect Share

If you haven’t yet discovered the joy of mining, connecting, and sharing your personal dot collection, isn’t it about time that you made an attempt to do so?

  1. January 29, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    You are right, it is the collect and connecting with others and their dots that make things extraordinary. I enjoy the collaboration process – though at times it can be contentious, but the end result is something interesting. Something that one person could likely not pull off as well and certainly not as quickly.

    i look forward to connecting dots aka Requirements book.

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