Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Matt Goldman of Blue Man Group: Clear Intent and Passion

The sculptor Constantine Brancusi said that being an artist is having "clear intent and passion."

I was lucky. I figured out early that if you completely immerse yourself in something you believe in, you create passion. And for me, clear intent is simply a choice. The issue is, how do you define "artist"? As an economics major and 5-year MBA, I still always defined myself as an artist. I was not content to be left out because I did not paint or mold clay or expose light to film. I always believed one could be artistic in any medium, whether it's fine arts, business, finance or anything! The choice of medium is the one that gets you up in the morning excited... the one that might lead you to heightened experiences of life for life's sake: experiences of deep satisfaction. That's why the Brancusi quote resonated for me so much. I could meet his definition of artist; it allowed for any medium.

I also had great collaborators. While we were very different personalities, Chris Wink, Phil Stanton and I realized that we all wanted to do something really special; something that was bigger than ourselves. Looking back, we may not have known much more than that, but we had spirit, drive and the will to make something genuinely unique. And our dream built Blue Man Group.

The first time we got bald and blue, we would have been insane to have thought it would lead to successful shows around the world. The fact is, most ideas do not start out as revolutionary. Ours wasn't; Blue Man Group evolved. Not all great businesses will invent the next iPod right out of the gate. But innovation, like passion, can be found in everyone: a teacher who motivates you in a new way, a mentor who changes how you view the world, an acquaintance who opens a door of opportunity for you. Each one can help you tap into your inner innovator, entrepreneur or artist.

Take the time to create your own ideas, iterate them and then iterate them again… and then again. Align yourself with the most incredible people you can find: people who will inspire, challenge and support you. No matter what medium you choose, generate your clear intent and passion because you might just discover that you're a kick ass artist!