Song Writing and Startups

“It’s the difference between building structure around inspiration, and forcing inspiration around structure.”

My friend Bradford said this yesterday during a story telling workshop in Los Angeles. The phrase has been rattling in my brain ever since. It was aimed towards a talented singer who was describing the problem of designing a song for an audience, rather than developing a song from “within” or from their own inspiration.

Startups are just containers for humans inspired ideas.

“It’s the difference between building structure around inspiration, and forcing inspiration around structure.”

This is the core reason that forcing yourself to come up with a startup idea never works. It’s because you are forcing the inspiration, rather than building the structure.

When I write, sometimes I will stare at a page for 15 minutes, I will have a list of things that I believe to be inspired ideas next to me, and none of them fit right then for the moment. However, because I have built a (Relatively) consistent structure around where my inspiration comes from for my morning writing, I know I can squeeze the last drop of inspiration out of my brain aimed at - Startups - Magnets - Orange Pants… But also at the end of the day, I know I will be writing again tomorrow.

Forcing inspiration for a 10-1000 year journey of a startup mission is a different beast all together. So where does inspiration come from? Where does an inner voice obsess over tasks in the real world?

I think that structure is what we do until inspiration strikes. Structure is the habits we have created to better ourselves on an iterative basis. Habits create compounding value, and incremental improvement over time. Habits feed our structure, until inspiration drives our decision making.

Inspired people, inspire people.

They are the ones who have perfected their structure, so when inspiration strikes they are ready.

So build your structure. Become inspired.