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I picked up this book feeling a bit uneasy because I knew that for the last several years, I've become a conformist. I started my career with big ideas and hopes. I wanted to do exciting things, but I slowly realized that the organization where I worked didn't want me to be creative; it only wanted me to be productive. They wanted me to work on projects and tasks that were already set for me. They expected me to deliver. And though I wish I could say that I fought against it, I have to admit that I conformed to their expectations. I was ashamed because I believed that conformity is a vice. Or is it?

But this book turned everything I knew about creative and innovative people upside down: they are not the crazy risk-taking pioneers that do things, challenge ideas against all the odds, people (that don't support them) and in unfavorable times. They are not the superhero type we expect them to be. Their projects are rather carefully designed and crafted over time. Their projects are tested and iterated. And frequently, the projects for which they become known are their hobbies or side hustles, much like the online optics company Warby Parker's example (Grant, 2016, p. 15).

This reminds me of my own situation. I know I am very keen on working in the public sector, crafting public services that are smooth and efficient for the Moldovan people. But at the same time, I wish to help my mother in rebranding her business - a tailor shop. Before I read this book, I was convinced that I had to choose one because I was convinced that I could not do both of them. I find it no longer true. I can, and I should do both because having the security of a day job that is paid month to month will help me unleash the creative power in building a well-designed tailor's shop for my mother (Ibidem, p. 16).


It does not require extreme risk-taking. I was also afraid of people saying that opening a tailor's shop is not an original idea. And they are right. It is not! But the good news is that it does not have to be for it to succeed. It has to be well-designed and well-delivered in the right time. By the time my mother's company will be launched other (pioneers) have paved the way and created a market for a tailor's services (Ibidem, pp. 103-104).


Grant, Adam. (2016) Originals. How non-conformists change the world. London. WH Allen.

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