I was talking to a friend who has taken on a new job. Today movers are coming and tomorrow he will get on a plane. He’ll be working as a data center analyst and we have had a good time discussing ideas. In the past I’ve introduced him to some other friends who are forward thinkers, and we have discussed some new ideas.
One way to judge a person’s abilities is by their friends and who they hang out with. The good ones have good friends.
Making new things is hard, but much easier if you have good friends.
I can’t help but think of one of my favorite moments in any Pixar movie, when Anton Ego, the jaded and much-feared food critic in Ratatouille, delivers his review of Gusteau’s, the restaurant run by our hero Remy, a rat. Voiced by the great Peter O’Toole, Ego says that Remy’s talents have “challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking … [and] have rocked me to my core.” His speech, written by Brad Bird, similarly rocked me—and, to this day, sticks with me as I think about my work.
“In many ways, the work of a critic is easy,” Ego says. “We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends.”
Catmull, Ed; Wallace, Amy (2014-04-08). Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration (Kindle Locations 2257-2265). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.