In its annual selection of the world’s most creative people, Fast Company has put together a list that includes technologists, data geeks, rappers, architects, and artists. There’s even a comedian in there. It’s not a list of big names, but collectively, their work has influenced and changed the way we live. Their professions bear little resemblance, but you’ll find commonality in what they preach. Here are five that inspire action.
- Simplify. Google Maps had so many features to offer, Daniel Graf (#5), Director of Google Maps for Mobile, decided to eliminate the menu. But direction and clarity is supposed to be great, right? Not if you can offer intuitive usability. Daniel’s choice to remove the obvious forced his team to look at their product in a new way.
- Change the conversation. Artist and provocateur Ai Weiwei (#16) is under constant monitoring from the Chinese government. But that doesn’t stop him. When they set up surveillance cameras around his home, he did the same. Weiweicam.com keeps the public in tune with what he’s doing. His art is for them.
- Create the Now. Maria Mujica (#27) taps into the zeitgeist and creates events and promotions for Mondelēz that make people ask: Can I see it again? Can I share it? and How can I make it better?
- Add fun. Alli Webb (#35) created a multi-million dollar business selling blow-dries. "I was adamant early on that we're a bar, not a salon…We're more fun,” she said. Music, cocktails, entertainment. It’s like hanging out. Who doesn’t want to do that?
- Know what counts. You can dream big, but if you don’t know what counts then it’s meaningless. Architect Peter Marino (#60) knows that in retail, experience is key but sales are where it counts. At Louis Vuitton in Tokyo, he added hidden cash registers so no one would need to wait to make a purchase.