John Maeda, president of the Rhode Island School of Design until 2013 and now a partner with Kleiner Perkins, offers tips on keeping your edge:
1. Try the sharing economy. When he arrived in Menlo Park, people told him he must be learning so much from Silicon Valley CEOs. “No,” he replied, “I’m learning through Airbnb hosts and Uber drivers.”
“What inspires creativity is exposing yourself to what might make you feel uncomfortable or different,” he says.
2. Put away the phone. Maeda tries to hide it. “It’s a great ritual to unplug for three hours and delete five apps on my phone—so I can stop.”
3. Break habits. Even good habits should be reorganized and redesigned regularly. Maeda will use Post-its one week and draw on his hands the next.
—Adapted from “Design sense: John Maeda,” Fast Company.