One Singular Sensation Dept.

From my previous post: "The whole point of having a singular creator for something is to avoid diffusion of the kind of responsibility that needs to be assumed in a singular way."

Here's what I meant by this. A creative work can be done either singly or collaboratively, but there should always be, whenever possible, an authority somewhere to say what the project is or isn't. Without that, the results tend to be baggy and unfocused.

I don't think this even deserves to be elevated to the level of a major cultural argument; I think this just ranks as simple common sense. A car needs to be driven by one person at a time. Sure, you can have your spouse or buddy riding shotgun — giving you directions, opening your Coke for you, changing the playlist on the iPod, whatever. But the responsibility for having hands on the wheel and eyes on the road and feet on the brakes belongs to one person at any given time.

OK, now for a confession. I wrote an earlier draft of this post in which I said, "The speed with which some people fall in love with how things can be collaborative, decentralized, network-effected, or insert-buzzword-here-ized scares the living plasm outta me." I segued from there into a whole screed about how we really shouldn't be building social systems around the diffusion of personal responsibility, etc. But on looking back over it, I couldn't figure out a way to phrase any of it without sounding hopelessly alarmist.

Out of that mess, though, I did rescue a few nuggets of what I think are solid insight. Among them is this: collaborative work is hard for a reason. Not just because of the tug-of-war of all the egos involved — think about how many movies with A-list actors get their scripts rewritten, sometimes drastically, to accommodate the star in question — but because the end result still has to feel like the product of a single, definitive vision. 

Tags: collaboration creativity creators

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This page contains a single entry by Serdar Yegulalp in the category Uncategorized / General, published on 2014/01/10 10:00.

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