Friday, July 31, 2009


A few days back I had attended a talk by Shankar Subramanian on the topic 'Creativity Unleashed'. It was a very inspiring talk.

What is creativity?

According to the dictionary its "the ability to create". Creativity is nothing but thinking in new ways. The ability to create something new.

"We are the way we are because we think we are the way we are", quote by myself till someone else claims the other way.

From the day we are born to this world, lot of rules are imposed upon us. After long years of exposure to lot of rules, strong patterns of thought are formed in our brains. After a few more years, our entire behaviour follows certian patterns. Our behaviour, becomes more and more predictable. For example, if my wife interrupts me during my work, my behaviour is very predictable. The only emotion that comes to my mind at that time is 'anger'. I don't mind giving part of the credit for my predictability to my education system as well. Some kind of work requries predictability, but definitely, predictability ruins innovation.

If we take the lives of some of the greatest intellectuals in the last 1000 years, most of them did not have a normal education like the rest of the kids. A few of them had never seen schools, and a few of them were expelled from the schools. Leonardo da Vinci, Hans Anderson and Niels Bhor were considered as retarded by their school teachers. Sir Isaac Newton was told as dunce, ie, stupid and slow to learn. Thomas Alva Edison's teachers were irritated as he asked lot of questions, so they called him 'addled', ie, confused kid. Albert Einstein's teacher had told him that he "would never make a success of anything". These kids were considered as below average students by the teachers, but geniuses to the world.

Who knows, may be the impression of less intelligence helped these kids. This resulted in less rules. No one imposed the existing ways of conventional thoughts into their brains. This helped them to think in their own creative ways. They never shelled themselves to the captivity of negativity. Instead, they learned things on their own. I heard this quote sometime back "If I teach you, then thats the end". The quote makes more sense now a days.

Now, we all are adults. Most of us have predictable thinking patterns formed strongly in our brains and minds. How can we break these patterns of thought? Does these patterns make us handicapped to be creative?

The answer is 'No'. You can be creative. Creativity can be taught.

There are quite a number of tools which will help to break these patterns and help you to be creative. Edward De Bono has contributed lot of tools to these existing arsenal of creativity tools. Some of the tools are Lateral Thinking, Six thinking hats etc.

If you feel that your organization requires a talk on creativity, I recommend Shankar Subramanian. He is the founder and Principal Consultant of Ninedots. Nindots is a consulting firm which helps to improve productivity and efficiency of organizations through personal development of employees.

Lets talk about the topic which we all are comfortable with - The Eclipse. Web 2.0 has unleashed hell lot of possibilities. I hope E4 is moving in this direction. There will be a day when the entire world will be wired with high speed internet. On that day, I hope the creativity and capability of our engineers will help to transform eclipse into a complete web based platform. In future, we may teach the new engineers, "huh... do you believe that eclipse was a desktop application, back then!".



  1. A few years ago I reached the ironic conclusion that unless an idea I had was met with strong opposition by at least a few people, it was probably a mediocre idea. In other words, the best ideas are most strongly opposed. Unfortunately so are the worst ones!

  2. Hi Madhu..your thoughts on Creativity..its really superb.

    Am a beginner in Eclipse. So am expecting one help from you on GEF. GEF has shapes, logic etc., examples.We can get source & jar file of GEF-shapes freely. Being a beginner, I had a try on creating one shapes plugin project in eclipse & it works fine. I could drag & drop those shapes from palatte. Here, am just wondering on onething, why it opens one more eclipse workbench (running workbench)???..Is it because the project is plugin development project???

    Actually,my requirement is some what similar to shapes example giving(drag & drop the images & capturing some property values). I can modify the shapes source based on my requirement. But onething I have to restrict is, it should not open an another workbench to run. So, I just have an idea to make use of that jar file of GEF shapes plugin, not a source. So, will I be able to create a simple java project (.exe) or a flex project (web application) by extending this shapes library (which should not require eclipse or flex to run)???. Because flex is built up of exclipse. Is it possible by doing this way???

    Please..dont mistak me, if I added anything wrong here. If so..please correct me..& give me some idea..

    Expecting ur help..because I searched lot in google..but I coudnt find out anything...

    And am really sorry if this is not a right place to post my doubts. If so, please tell me where can I get answer for my doubt??

    Thanks in Advance
    Malar (