“It’s been done before” – So?

13 Jan

Telling someone that their idea “has been done before” is not only discouraging, but completely lacks constructiveness. 

It’s better to simply point out that their idea reminds you of such and such, then encouraging that person to make their version even better…


10 Responses to ““It’s been done before” – So?”

  1. virtuos and beautiful January 13, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

    Very true! It is very discouraging as you are telling the person they are not original, and don’t give them ideas on how to improve it.

    • Christopher January 14, 2012 at 7:27 am #

      Yup! The thing I can’t stand about the comment is that you are telling them they are unoriginal in a short, curt and indirect manner, which is worse!

  2. Thom January 13, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    I am not certain if this is where you got your thought from but it is an interesting (and possibly timely) article non-the-less. http://www.ifc.com/fix/2012/01/why-no-film-should-be-considered-unremakable

    • Christopher January 14, 2012 at 7:25 am #

      Thank you for the article, Thom! I love this quote: “But putting up arbitrary limitations is the wrong way to foster creativity. Movies have enough rules already.” – So true…

  3. Chuck Norton January 13, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    True!! When I hear something has been done, I think it’s more likely something that other people want and/or the market is more ready for it.

    But it’s so natural to get more excited about an idea that is brand spanking (un tested/ un-qualified) new. Why is that??

    • Christopher January 14, 2012 at 7:30 am #

      You’re an innovator, Chuck, so you naturally want to be on the forefront; however, it often takes lots of sifting through of convention to reach the forefront, so it’s a shame when some insensitive person quickly dismisses your search with a dumb comment like “It’s been done before…”

      A better friend, comrade would rather help you fish for what it is you are passionate about help you unearth its potential…

  4. Jim January 13, 2012 at 10:31 am #

    Of course the remark is dismissive and probably superficial as well. On one hand, it’s good to have people remind you of similar work – you need to look at it and understand it. And, most important for maintaining your spirit, any work you or I do will – for better or worse – show that it is work from our hands and no one else. You cannot escape your personal “style” even if you want to.

    • Christopher January 14, 2012 at 7:33 am #

      I definitely agree, Jim. It is important to remind ourselves of precedent and, quite frankly, ignorant claims of innovation are quite embarrassing.

      And I love your thoughts regarding our innate originality. Even if I were to paint the Mona Lisa, it inevitably would have my touch to it!

      I recently read this quote by Kahlil Gibran: “”He alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving.”

  5. Thom January 13, 2012 at 8:36 am #

    Right on! I mean, what hasn’t been “done before”?

  6. Tina January 13, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    Amen to that!

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