Tag Archives: creativity

David Parrish: T-Shirts + Suits/Part 2

Want to start a creative business? Best to know who you are first.

Want to start a creative business? Best to know who you are first.

In his richly informative and enlightening book, T-Shirts + Suits: A Guide to the Business of Creativity, David Parrish gives us a checklist for self-evaluation. Like many of these sorts of evaluations, the primary value comes from forcing you to answer questions that you need to answer…but frequently avoid doing.

If you are thinking of starting a creative business, or have already done so, you will want to spend some time seeking the answers to these questions. Remember, if you don’t stand for something, you fall for everything.

The PRIMEFACT Checklist (Page 22)

What are the strengths and weaknesses of our people?
Employees, directors, members, associates, advisers and
other stakeholders.

Reputation (or Brand)
What is our reputation with our target customers? What are
the strengths – or weaknesses – of our brand or brands?

Intellectual Property

What intellectual property do we have? How is it protected?
How easily can it be turned into income streams?

Market Research / Market Information

What information do we have about market segments and market trends? What do we know about individual clients and their specific needs?

Ethos (or Values or Culture)

What is our ethos, our values and our organisational culture?
Do all stakeholders subscribe to this same ethos?

Finances (ie Money)
What is the current state of profitability, cashflow and assets?
How much money do we have to invest or can we borrow?

Agility (or Nimbleness or Change­ability)
Are we agile enough to seize new opportunities?
Are people prepared to change and ready for change?
Are there barriers to change?

Collaborators (Alliances, Partnerships and Networks)

What are the strengths and weaknesses of our associations with other businesses and organisations (including government)?

Talents (Competencies and Skills)
What are our core competencies?
What skills do we have available and what gaps are there?
How will we learn new skills?


T-Shirts and Suits: A Guide to the Business of Creativity (Part 1)

Creativity and Business

Creativity and Business

David Parrish has written, perhaps, the best guidebook for a creative person in business, T-Shirts and Suits: A Guide to the Business of Creativity. In his introduction, he mentions that he is both a published poet and an MBA. This makes him the ideal person to answer the old question, “Is it creativity vs. business?”

David writes:
“Some people regard creativity and business as being like oil and water – they just don’t mix. They think it’s a question of choosing between creativity and business. I disagree.”

In these times of uncertain economic conditions and the relative ease of creating a digital businesses, it is inevitable that more and more creative people will be considering starting a business. Here’s a hint: go here and print out the free PDF and spend some time reading it and soaking it all in.

Creativity and business are absolutely not mutually exclusive but most of us have a proclivity towards one or the other but the fact is that a successful business requires both. David mentions that there is sometimes more creativity in an engineering group than in some advertising agencies and that is absolutely true. “The most exciting creativity, I believe, is the alchemy of blending apparent opposites, what we often call art and science, recognizing that they are not opposites at all, from which we have to choose either/or in a binary fashion, but the yin and the yang of the whole.”

If you read nothing else in the book, read pages 9 and 10 on Success, Profit, Lifestyle, and Why do it?

It’ll start you thinking about creativity, about business, and about what you will do next.