As a product inventor, people often ask me whether I’ve “protected” Musecubes. Certainly, I’m in the process of trademarking and copyrighting my products. So in that sense — yes.
But with any creative idea, to what extent do I truly “own” it? And would I really want to?
A year ago, I found out about a preschool teacher who made giant MuseCubes by covering boxes with wrapping paper, and adding her own verbs.
Just today, I stumbled upon Dayna Collins’ blog, Alley Art Studio. Wow! I’m stunned at Dayna’s creative application of the MuseCubes idea. In her own words:
Our creative project for last night was to design and make a personal set of MuseCubes. I heard about Muse Cubes sometime last year and went online and bought a set. I used them during my last Artist’s Way session and they were great fun. Basically, one cube has words related to noises and sounds you can make and the other cube has action verbs, i.e., shake, bend, and dance. You roll the dice and do as instructed. You might be howling and bending, or laughing and shaking. You get the idea.
I absolutely love how Dayna personalized the Cubes. And aren’t they beautiful?! I’ve included one of the pictures, above, but I highly recommend going to Dayna’s blog and checking out the gorgeous art work yourself.
Back to that question of ownership. I think of the MuseCubes as my child. And as poet Khalil Gibran points out in The Prophet, we do not own our children:
Your Children are not Your Children
They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
The timing of Dayna’s blog is ideal for me in terms of MuseCubes business development.
Because I live in the land of America — where we encourage entrepreneurs to get bigger, better, faster — I’ve been feeling the pressure to turn MuseCubes into a mass-produced, commercially viable product. And I won’t say that I’m NOT moving in that direction. Perhaps I want to!
However, one of the pleasures of this delightful product is the homemade beauty of each Cube. And Dayna’s blog entry reminded me of just how stunning the cubes are when they are decorated with random art cutouts.
As Khalil Gibran reminds me, the idea of MuseCubes — that we are all inherently creative; sometimes our creativity gets buried underneath thinking and mistrust; and movement, whimsy, and silliness are GREAT tools to unlock our stored gems — is not “mine.”
So I still don’t know which direction I’m going to go with the business. Will I mass produce? Will I quit altogether and sell the idea to someone with more resources & time? Will I continue making small, homemade ones by hand? Will I sell MuseCube making kits? Will I put more of my focus onto the upcoming iPhone app?
What I DO know is that more and more people (in general) and women (more specifically) are taking to the Cubes. This is an idea that, now that it’s born, can’t be stopped.The whimsy, creativity, and surprise that comes from a random roll, and subsequent shake & howl, really does open up our creativity and sense of possibility.
What might happen if I now, following the guidance of Gibran, “strive to be like them”? In other words, strive to have my business processes and goals be more like the MuseCubes themselves — whimsical, creative, flexible?
I’m not sure what this all means, but you can be sure I’ll blog about it when I figure it out.
Thanks, Dayna, for your creative application of MuseCubes — and for inspiring to expand my vision of how my invention might play in the world.