Creativity is not about getting crazy ideas. It’s not something that only people in creative disciplines can do. Creativity is about doing something else, something smarter than the rest. To see and walk down a path that no one thought about.
It doesn’t have to be an advanced idea. It doesn’t have to be based on huge amounts of numbers and insights. In fact, the best ideas are simple and clear-headed.
Creativity is an important aspect of all parts of business life. Or at least it should be. Because as Bill Bernbach, the father of modern advertising famously said: “It may well be that creativity is the last unfair advantage we’re legally allowed to take over our competitors.”
So, we decided to list of who we think are inspiring creative people in business today. People who are not afraid to go against the stream and do what they believe in – and make an impact with that approach.
Chance the Rapper
Chance the Rapper is a Chicago-based rapper with a unique voice. He has been a rising star in the music industry since he released his first album in 2012.
Instead of asking for money for his music, Chance the Rapper gives his albums away for free – and only makes money from touring and selling merchandise. This has caused his fan base to grow minute by minute, showing that you can in fact go about things in the music business in a completely different way – and be successful at that.
In 2017, he donated $1 Million to the Chicago Public Schools Foundation “for arts and enrichment programming.”
Alex Wolf is the founder and CEO of Bossbabe Inc., an online, members-only community which helps women build their own online businesses.
Wolf dropped out of college at 19. Without a job or any profession she started using her internet obsession to turn it into something profitable. She became a social media coach, helping people build their online brands.
On her Boss Babe Academy she offers master classes and an enormous database with other like-minded businesswomen for $10 a month.
Dani Rylan is the inventor of the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL). She is a former left wing of the Northeastern University women’s hockey team, but after graduation she realised there was nowhere else to go for a professional woman hockey player.
So, she started looking for investors for her idea: A professional women’s hockey league. A few months later she formed the NWHL which kicked off its first season with four teams with players coming from around the world.
The idea is working and fans are embracing it. Therefore she is now looking for more sponsors and partners for the upcoming seasons.
Jennifer Bandier is the founder of Bandier, a luxury activewear brand with a flourishing e-commerce site as well as physical stores in New York and Dallas.
When Jennifer broke her foot and spent months on crutches she discovered the lack of stylish athletic wear shops within walking distance. Therefore she started looking for brands that make high-quality fitness wear which can also be worn more casually – and soon she opened her first Bandier location seasonally in Southampton. Her timing was perfect and her “athleisure” fashion really kicked off.
Nowadays, she can count Kim Kardashian among her followers.
Heben Nigatu is a writer and the co-host of BuzzFeed’s Another Round podcast and a member of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’s crew.
She started Another Round with Tracy Clayton in 2015. The podcast contains the two talking to each other and their guests about up-to-date topics. They soon reached thousands of listeners and made interviews with big names, e.g. Hillary Clinton.
But most importantly, Nigatu and Clayton feature lesser-known artists, bloggers and comedians so people can get to know them.
Connie Chan is a partner at Andreessen Horowitz and focuses on the U.S-China opportunities for the startup community. She became a key bridge between the two countries because she can offer the kind of help for western entrepreneurs, who want to expand to China, that nobody else can.
Back in 2010, in Beijing, she worked for Hewlett-Packard on an assignment and during this time she got involved in China’s digital culture. Based on that she started advising startup businesses on how to improve their Chinese connections and expansion. She helps these companies to navigate among the unique characteristics of the Chinese consumers’ behaviour.
Ram Devineni is the creator of the famous female Indian superhero, Priya, which he came up with after the horrible gang rape in Delhi in 2012.
Devineni was working as an IT analyst for Citibank in New York back then, but after the horrific rape, the India-born Ram decided to do something against it. He wanted to influence how boys treat women, so he left his analyst job and wrote a comic book starring Priya.
Priya is a female superhero who makes justice for victims of violence in India. His first book, named Priya’s Shakti is the first Indian comic book of its kind, because it is confronting teenagers with the sensitive issue of sexual violence and teaching young people to fight inequality.
Ryan Coogler is an American film director and screenwriter who directed Marvel Comics’ Black Panther superhero movie. He became acknowledged after his first movie, Fruitvale Station, which won the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013.
His next movie Creed, starring Sylvester Stallone, was the seventh film in the Rocky franchise. It was also a hit, both critical and commercial in 2015. Thanks to that he agreed with Marvel Studios to direct the Black Panther with Chadwick Boseman starring as the hero. Black Panther has set box office records on its first weekend in the movies – and film critics loved it too.