Interview with Daniel Motta, Head of Branding at XP Inc.
Remember the iconic slogan of Apple: “Think Different”?
Instead, embrace the message of “Do Different.”
I was inspired to focus on “Do Different” after sitting down to talk creativity with Daniel Motta at XP Inc. XP Inc is a Brazilian investment management company, founded less than 25 years ago. Today the company has more than 3 million active customers, over 13,000 investment advisors spread across 600 offices, and more than $180 billion in custody.
Daniel Motta is a true creative. His “creative CV” includes being a professional musician, serving as Creative Director of McDonald’s Latin America, and he is now Head of Creative at XP Inc. After a career of being a creative, and after suffering a stroke that got him to re-evaluate not just work, but life itself, Daniel has come to the conclusion that creativity is about doing.
Many people mistake creativity for “thinking,” but true creativity is to do.
To have a different perspective and to then act on that perspective to create something that is better than what existed before.
And do, Daniel does. One of XP Incs’s marketing activities is an investment conference called ExpertXP, that in just 11 short years, has grown from nothing into one of the largest conferences in the world of any kind. More than 1 million people attend the event virtually, and more than 50,000 people attend it live and in person. Last year Serena Williams was one of the speakers.
Don’t “think big.” Do Big.
I asked Daniel to give me (and my readers) some advice about how to “Do Different” and, in summary, he told me:
1) Grasp Opportunities
Opportunities present themselves to creative people, but opportunities need to be grasped. The key word in the phrase “Grasp the opportunity” is “grasp.” To grasp is an active act.
2) Be Efficient
After Daniel suffered a stroke, he became much more focused on doing the things he wanted to do. When you understand that life is finite, you tap into the infinity of true creativity. You become better at getting ideas done.
Now, not all of us can get a stroke to get a stroke of insight, but we can harness the essence of Daniel’s insight from having one: Become more efficient with how you spend your time to make sure that, in the end, it’s spent in an efficient way. That does not mean “work all the time”; on the contrary (Daniel is spending a lot of time with his family), it means: When you do creative work, make sure you get results.
3) Fall in love with the purpose more than you fall in love with your idea.
Many people, especially in advertising agencies, fall in love with their “big idea”. But we should fall in love with the problem we are trying to solve, the purpose of what we are trying to achieve, the reality of our customers and what they are struggling with. Not our own creativity.
Fall in love with what needs to be done.
And then do that.
The classic Think Different ad went like this:
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
It’s brilliant, inspiring and wonderful.
But after my conversation with Daniel Motta I re-wrote it as follows:
“Here’s to the busy ones. The doers. The makers. The make-it-happeners. The spark plugs and the pistons in the creative engine. The ones who do things differently. They’re not fond of talk. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. But they will not pay attention to you. Because they are busy doing things. They push things forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are focused enough to not just think – but to act – are the ones who DO.”
So, look for new perspectives, and then do what you see needs to be done. Do Different.
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