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Extraordinary Experience #21: Innovation needs misery as cookies need milk.

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Capsule was invited to share extraordinary experiences leading up to the FUSE conference and while we spent time these last three days at the conference. We have enjoyed all of it, from the first blog post to the last day of speakers. It has been amusing, intriguing, though-provoking, energizing, fun and above all, extraordinary. As my last post, I would like to make a case for the importance of unhappiness. This is it.All this happiness crap is pissing me off.We have countries measuring their happiness index. Really? Okay, if we're going to have a 'gross domestic happiness index', let's also measure unhappiness (GDU). You might say, [if you're bright] well aren't we doing that by default when we look at the numbers? Not necessarily, if we spend too much time understanding happiness we may overlook the need to also comprehend the importance of unhappiness. If we measure it, we make it important. So, why does unhappiness matter? We can't have black without white or cold without warm. There's no happiness without sadness and misery. If all is good in the world [read: everyone is happy] and we have no problems to solve, many brands would go out of business. Brands need problems. Innovators need problems. Problems are often at the center of unhappiness, so let's not get too excited about happiness. Is the answer fostering unhappiness in innovation and design departments? Do we hire the next 'angry' person who puts a resume on your desk? First, angry is not what we're advocating. Impatience isn't either. It's really about dissatisfaction with the word 'just.' Or deep distrust of those who say, 'it's good enough.' It's those curious, engaged thinkers and doers who know everything can be improved with enough mental energy and resources. They are not satisfied with average and have a natural desire to improve everything. If you're wondering where we get this viewpoint, these are the people we hire. We do believe in the pursuit of happiness, but always avoiding the pothole of complacency along the way. Come visit us at Capsule if you want to be a part of our team. Visit Capsule if you want to have the Capsule team supplementing yours. Visit us if you're curious. Visit Capsule if you're seeking new opportunities for growth, design thinking and a new perspective on your brand strategy. At FUSE this week we have enjoyed many emotions, topics and plenty of thinking. Let's be happy with a certain amount of unhappiness in order to motivate us toward a brighter future. Aaron Keller
Managing Principal, Capsule

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