Do Your Ideas Have Something Missing?
I wanted to try it out. Matthew E. May had claimed that the best ideas have something missing. Of course, making something go missing doesn't assure a good idea. But I wanted to test his theory.
So we played a game.
There were no stated rules, just loosely-related pictures (all with something missing and all from May's book). Beyond some peripheral conversations on Twitter and Facebook, there was no explanation of where it was leading. It was pure experience, more powerful than if I'd said, "Hey, did you know that missing pieces make things more interesting?"
That's what Matthew May believes. As an opening example in the book, he recalls the ending of The Sopranos. "Instead of receiving a concrete answer to the big question [of whether Tony Soprano would get 'whacked'], viewers sat shocked as, during the final seconds of the show, their television screens went black." And that was it. After a few seconds, the credits rolled.
There is more to the story, and you can read it in May's book. But, as he notes, "the point here is that no straightforward conclusion would have engaged viewers with the same intensity and debate."
So, is it worth it to make sure your ideas have something missing? I'll talk about that more in upcoming posts. But for now, I'm going missing until next week. :)