I don't think I can write something truly original today, I'm tired. And I have to admit that, sometimes I use chat gpt to get rid of nuances, but I obviously hate the final output, I tweak it a little bit and try to make whatever corny text I got back, to make it more human. More myself. Soon enough, the nuances will be picked up by the LLM and get my writing pattern. I will just have to say dumb things to the voice recognition software, and then process it and get some decent text out of it.
Now, back to the header topic. Originality comes from many different places. You have thousands of theories, articles, and pop books about how everything is recycled, or you have to copy the masters, and eventually you will come up with an original stlye. That is not incorrect.
But what truly makes something original. Particularly in this day and age where, digital, a medium made for ease of replication seems to allow for very little originality in the creative output. The NFT promise enabled a generation of artists to find a sense of originality in their post, but, what became more popular is not the original visual style -think punks, and apes. There's literally a million of other projects out there with more original content, stories, and visuals than those project.
I am of the belief that true art, is just an expression. A mixture of mastery (or luck) in a certain domain that manages to bring something new to this world. Art does not reflect but expresses truth. Right? There's no more absolute definition.
But originality can be found in many places, design, physics, mathematics, sports.
What makes something unique? Is it a stamp? A marketing campaign?
The important here is the differentiating factor. Something original is a mixture of something that has a new way of expressing something, and idea, a picture, a car. But not necessarily, expressing something truthful to this world.
It is as if, we need to process, process and process a lot of information, chew it, replicate it, find a way to express it, copy what is out there, and slowly by boredom or intellect, we decide to create something that is not quite. Something different to what is out there. With a twist, perhaps.
Why do Apple products obsess me so much? The iPhone is the first and only smartwatch, everthing else is just a copy. Does that make it a piece of art?
Then how do you create something original after that. Its closest competitors either copy them, or focus on a completely different type. But the experience and of the iPhone (and almost entirely of its ecosystem) is unique.
How do you craft originals? In storytelling, for example, we revisit always the same patterns. The hero's journey, rise and fall, sky beams final battles.
There's always an edge to be found in technology. Back to the iPhone example, the new tech that the product enabled, allowed for a new and original product. In tech, the NFTs, the apes are popular partially because they were piggybacking on a new tech, and an economic bull market. They found product market fit, almost by chance. If it was not going to be the apes, it was going to be some other similar project. But the guys at Yuga, figured out original ways to foster and develop their community and looked for new approaches to ownership and IP expansion.
Creating a new product - not so long ago- I was chatting with a girl in a small party, and she was telling me that she was working at a startup that was training an LLM to create a better Siri. It just struck me, why do you want to invest your time copying two existing products and make a worse version of whatever it is that Apple or ChatGTP can potentially already have in their roadmaps?
There is always this belief that cross pollinating ideas or concepts is a formula for creating original content. Think Sharknado (Sharks + Tornados), Godzilla vs King Kong, Pocahontas + Blue Man Group (Avatar).
But on the other hand, you have Ridley Scott pitching Alien as 'Jaws in space'. What worked there, is not only the script and the noir take at sci-fi, but brining in a crazy person such as H.R. Giger to design the alien and the overall aesthetics.
Originality is that rare combination of factors and circumstances that give birth to something new.
The best way to be original is being yourself to the absolute max. I speak mostly for designers and maybe some artists. And yes, its the cheesiest advice ever. I don't consider myself original, but I feel that the more library I build and the closer I am to new tech the more original my content is. And at the same time, the more hours and discipline I put on something, the more I get rid of the obvious. Some people get there faster, I just do not.
The best way to achieve originality is, actually, getting faster to getting rid of the obvious. Some people develop conscious processes for that, and sometimes those processes just randomly stop working.
The secret, is to keep going, be consistent. Go to the masters, copy, imitate, try to master the tools to express what is in your head, and always aim to be world class because you are competing with the world and the world needs more original content.