Ed’s note: This post was written by guest editor Paul Schulte of Site Hospitality.
We live in a time-poor world; this is by choice, not force.
Living in such a way leads to poor, reactive decisions that ultimately aren’t always the best for your business or yourself. Our sources of inspiration have gone from travelling the world on a shoestring, to perusing Pinterest and Google images.
Combine this with a society that lives in one of the highest mortgage- or rent-to-salary brackets globally, meaning people play the safe choice when it comes to buying, eating out, and spending in general. It’s what we are all seeing around us. Cookie-cutting brands, another café with chalkboards and optic white tiles, architects trying to create the same old thing you can already find two blocks away.
I always use buying a coffee as an example. It’s only $3.50, but if it’s not good, it’s really disappointing. People feel their one little luxury of the day, the moment of looking after themselves, has been spoilt. What this means is people going back to what they know. They play it safe and don’t venture into the unknown.
Australians are also quite a tough bunch, sometimes not the most positive people in the world. Ultimately, we are quite spoilt so we expect the best and perfection. This is fine; it’s just very scary as an operator, which sometimes makes you feel like just giving people what they know. (Especially in this social media aggressive world where a mistake is shared with the world.)
I spend a lot of time in the US and Europe, and the positivity and support for having a go and being different is noticeable to say the least.
Why this is not good is because it is leading this country into a very black-and-white space. On top of all this, we have governments and councils that should be supporting innovation rather than penalising it. I was recently part of a process where a council rejected something that has existed there for the last 50 years but closed a couple years ago. All we wanted to do was bring it back to life, give people something new and exciting, but because three people complained, it got shut down. This costs money, time, and simply sucks all the energy you have to make a difference out of you.
3 ways to remain creative and inspired
Collect and gather
Take photos, collect blogs or newsletters you like, try and explore the world any way you can – travel, books, photos, etc. Build your idea around a base, but then let it venture into other spaces to see if it could be done differently. What I mean by this is always look at other industries, other businesses, because there are probably answers within them that can help you.
I’m a huge fan of asking why. Why does this make sense? Why can’t it be different? Why is it not right to do it a certain way? Humans all think differently, so just remember when you have an idea, it will definitely resonate with people out there. These ideas usually need to be built out of hours as they won’t have an income stream straight away.
Partner with those who value innovation
I honestly believe true innovation hasn’t come anywhere near its real value yet. People are craving new things to do and see, and I believe developers and the world in general will see this and respect this more in the years to come. Be persistent with innovation, the right people will give you a chance to express your beliefs.