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Exploiting Chaos - 150 ways to spark innovation

Chaos-driven innovations
Part 1 of 2

The jewelry industry has been hit particularly hard with the recession. De Beers has even been desperately pitching diamonds as a safe investment like gold. After all, gemstones and jewelry are discretionary items on family budgets. So does it mean doom and gloom for all jewelry artisans?

Not according to the upcoming book, Exploiting Chaos: 150 Ways to Spark Innovation During Times of Change by Jeremy Gutsche, the Canadian founder of Trendhunter where I occasionally submit articles to. Click on the picture above for a sneak peek at the first free chapter which chronicles the amazing rise and fall of famous companies and what his book is about.

For instance, I did not know Fortune magazine launched and thrived during the Great Depression even though each issue cost the equivalent of a wool sweater. Nor did I know that Apple boss Steve Jobs still continued to launch new products including iTunes despite shareholder pressure to cut costs. Both examples prove what Jeremy says, "Innovation is not about market timing. It is about creating something that fulfills an unmet need."

Some of the tips he provides in that preview includes being aware of popular culture and being prepared to reinvent what you do and how you do things when things change.

I agree with him, we are indeed in a time of great change and there is no stemming that tide. Newspapers are folding (pun intended) with the shift to online readership and blogs, the way we communicate is increasingly via social media like Facebook and so on. Indeed, he says we should accept that there is no return to normal and to seize opportunities during chaotic periods.

So if traditional jewelry stores are failing, then there may well be a chance for handmade jewelry artisans who make unique products to step in and fill the void.

His book aims to make us "think differently and break the rules that paralyze change". A big part of his approach is called "adaptive innovation" but it really is all about continual creativity - and also the expectation that some of those creations will fail. Because if you don't fail sometimes, you'll never learn.

Creativity applies to us artisans whether or not you make things to sell. In his book index, he lists tips including how to fight complacency and avoid retreating to comfort zones - both of which will stunt growth. Today, the internet provides a viral way of spreading good ideas (like fabulous jewelry tutorials) or creations (of truly innovative jewelry artisans) and such infectious messages should be cultivated.

Jeremy certainly has some intriguing topics because in the chapter entitled "Intentional Destruction" there are subtitles like "Destroy the perks of seniority" and "Let reason triumph over hierarchy" which may resonate with many readers. "Hire Freaks" raised my eyebrows as did "Throw away your best ideas" which he followed right after with "Laugh"!

But the topic that resonated best with me was "Constantly seek to be unique".
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 


  1. I like the sound of that! I'm sure trying to stick with it and ride the storm. If anything it's therapy for all the stress of the economy. This sounds like a great book.

    Thanks for your comment about my video post. I hate using my voice but the whole copyright thing makes it so hard to put any 'good' music w/ your video. Youtube provides which is great even if I don't care for most of the choices..the problem is not all the video upload places provide royalty free music for you.

    You said you were wanting to do one but had probs w/ sound..if you dont' just mean the music issue..and you want to record your voice..just use windows movie maker. You can put record right on there and it will record what you say right through the program as long as you have a mic on or I use my logetech camera.

  2. Very interesting Pearl...I do think this is the time for artisans to shine...I know my sales have been down slightly but really nothing to complain about and for the economy the way it is I'd say that is wonderful!!!

    I'm always trying to come up with something unique or a new twist to something old...



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