Don’t replicate; interpret, iterate and improve

I’m currently pitching for a project that would carry out some research in the UK market that has already occurred in the US.

The easiest thing to do would be to recreate the US study. It makes the data more relevant to the UK market, and would offer an interesting comparison between the two territories.

But that is lazy. And not only is it lazy, it is sub-optimal.

Nothing is perfect. Everything can be improved.

A facsimile of a facsimile of a facsimile degrades in quality.

The solution is to identify the strengths of the original. This essence becomes the focus of the new version. The next iteration. The improvement.

Let The Right One InMy favourite example of this is Let The Right One In (or Låt den rätte komma in to Swedish speakers).

The book is pretty good – a Stephen King style page-turner with an interesting take on the vampire mythology.

The film takes the essence of the story but completely alters the tone. Simmering anger becomes languid beauty.

It is completely wonderful – one of my all-time favourite films.

Some might argue that this is dangerous territory. For every successful adaptation, remake or re-envisioning, there is a joyless hack, abject failure or a misguided wreck depressing the success rate.

But if you harbour any doubts over your ability to improve on something, you have to question why someone would want to employ you in the first place.

Beg; steal; borrow. Interpret; iterate; improve.

sk

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