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Scott Belsky: “Creativity Is the New Productivity”

The NFX Team · @nfx · Aug 2020

Scott Belsky NFX Founder List

This essay is part of The Founder List by NFX, audible essays from the most prolific leaders in technology, selected by the Founder community.

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In the age of A.I. and machine learning, just being more productive won’t cut it. The future belongs to the creatives.

The Productivity-Creativity Inversion

When leaders face the challenge of scaling their teams, they hire people to replicate many of the tasks they were doing. Sure, you might be able to do the mundane aspects of your job, but you’re better off hiring someone else to do it so you can concentrate on your more important value: thinking creatively and strategically about your product and company’s future.

In a sense, humanity has been doing the same thing for centuries: “hiring” people and machines to take over every mundane and repetitive action that consumes our natural human resources (work, energy, carbs — however you want to frame it). Sure, you could walk half a day to get your crop to market, but if a truck will get you there in half an hour, you’ll earn your revenue quicker and have more time to spend planting the next crop. From cars and industrial machinery to databases, algorithms, and office productivity tools, we have an insatiable desire to free our mental and physical energy for higher-order tasks.

Today, machines can accomplish a huge percentage of our daily tasks just as well as we can (if not better), and they do it for a lower price tag. Obviously, this has led to serious, negative ramifications for labor markets, but there is also upside. We are finally freed up — and disproportionately rewarded — for doing something only humans can do: be creative.

You can read the full essay here.

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