We can learn a lot about innovation from great comics, particularly those who come from the discipline of improvisation. There’s a great interview with Bill Murray in this month’s Esquire.
You gotta commit. You’ve gotta go out there and improvise and you’ve gotta be completely unafraid to die. You’ve got to be able to take a chance to die. And you have to die lots. You have to die all the time. You’re goin’ out there with just a whisper of an idea. The fear will make you clench up. That’s the fear of dying. When you start and the first few lines don’t grab and people are going like, “What’s this? I’m not laughing and I’m not interested,” then you just put your arms out like this and open way up and that allows your stuff to go out.
It’s the same when you face a blank page; the same when you have to solve a problem everyone says can’t be solved. Will you be a fool for trying or will you change the world? Will you spend your life playing it safe or will you go for greatness?