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Nothing is Original. Everything is a Remix. How to be More Creative?

“Don’t just steal the style, steal the thinking behind the style. You don’t want to look like your heroes, you want to see like your heroes.”


Yousuf Rafi

4 months ago | 2 min read


How to steal like an artist?

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were good friends. They used to party a lot, and Jobs occasionally took Bill Gates in his conferences.

During one of the meetings, Steve Jobs shared an idea with his team regarding a graphical interface and a pointing device (mouse) in Macintosh. Gates found out that the original idea of Macintosh came from somewhere else.

A company called Xerox Alto created Graphical User Interface (GUI), which Bill gates found out and asked his team to add in their product. 2 weeks before the launch of Macintosh, Bill Gates launched Windows with its GUI that started the rivalry between Gates and Jobs.

Similarly, in a Microsoft employee dinner, an internee shared the idea of a new device. This time Jobs heard it, went home, ordered his team to create a similar device, and iPad was launched.

When Michael Dell received Apple II for his 16th birthday, he didn’t even bother to power it on; he went into his room, dismantled all the parts, and tried to reverse engineer the device. A few years later, Dell company was formed.

Ron Friedman talks about similar examples in his latest book, Decoding Greatness. Grab your copy now!

The world is moving at a phenomenal speed. If you want to survive, understand the genius. Reverse engineer a successful product/service/blog.

Success is nothing more than understanding the patterns of people who already succeeded.

I am not talking about stealing ideas. I am talking about analyzing the pattern that made a product successful. Find the pattern, and you’ll be able to repeat the pattern in any business and succeed.

Sheer curiosity is the best motivator to reverse engineer anything.

Ask tons of questions, and when you ask questions, the universe will answer. When you observe the greats, it opens your mind to fresh possibilities.


Austin Kleon puts shares his best-selling book, Steal Like An Artist,

“Don’t just steal the style, steal the thinking behind the style. You don’t want to look like your heroes, you want to see like your heroes.”

Seth Godin also talks about shipping more work. To be more creative, you must analyze the greats, replicate the thinking and add your flavor. That’s it!

Regardless of your profession, if you want to excel, you need to steal from the best. When you stand on the shoulders of the giants, that is when you see what others cannot see with their eyes. It’s not about plagiarism.

It’s about stealing the thought behind the idea, adding your two cents to it, and creating something of value.

When you look at the world in this manner you’ll not worry about what’s a ‘bad’ idea or a ‘good’ idea — there’s just stuff worth stealing and stuff that’s not worth stealing.


Created by

Yousuf Rafi








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