Opening Pandora’s Box

When I worked at IBM years ago, I used to concentrate on my work most of the day, and then look at my email after lunch. Now, of course, my day revolves around email. I read it first thing, action items and then look again. Email has become absolutely essential in my work. In fact, most of my work and creativity revolves around it.

So after a short break, I came back to review the many hundreds of email messages that were unread, and found a nice surprise buried way down the list.

Some time ago, John Moore over at Brand Autopsy had issued a challenge — to tell 5 friends your top 5 blogs. I had sent mine out and received a few in return (I think that is cheating). Anyway, one of the more interesting returns came from an old buddy, Phillip Allen.

Phil is an interesting chap … he works at IDC the IT industry analysis group, has a background in sales, marketing — and loves a gimic, a red light special and almost anything to do with technology. One of his favourite sites was Pandora. I decided to check it out.

This a very cool site! Not only does it allow you to find the music that you like, it also suggests new music that you may be interested in, then lines them up for your aural pleasure. I remember reading somewhere that many people don’t buy new music after the age of 30 … and that seemed to be a great indictment on the creativity and imagination of my generation. And while iTunes may have changed the game a little, my guess is that we are all just downloading all the old songs that we used to love — not new material.

And as music continues to create a soundtrack to our lives, even into old age, I have a hunch that keeping engaged with new and emerging music has something to do with our own sense of creativity. Even if we don’t like it. So check out Pandora, and see what pops up! Let me know if you find something unexpected but good!