The creative power of no

Over at Medium is Kevin Ashton wrote about Creative People Say No. It’s a great reminder of the trade-off everybody needs to make when doing others a favour. It’s coming more from a time management perspective.

Saying “no” has more creative power than ideas, insights and talent combined. No guards time, the thread from which we weave our creations. The math of time is simple: you have less than you think and need more than you know. We are not taught to say “no.” We are taught not to say “no.” “No” is rude. “No” is a rebuff, a rebuttal, a minor act of verbal violence. “No” is for drugs and strangers with candy.

It’s a pretty extreme position. In the end, as with so many things in life, it’s about getting the balance right.

In that context, there is always the Apple clip from a few years ago about their product strategy: there are a thousand no’s for every yes.