As I am sitting here in London - of course at tea time - I can’t help to compare this tradition with some of our other daily habits. It is like an old market leader that successfully maneuvered through the years compared to many others that have vanished as new ideas and inventions pushed them off our attention.
Pen & Paper Forever
Of course it is not just a paper notebook, it is a special one with a pen that is connected to the internet to transfer all my notes to the cloud. It is almost as though the moments of peace that come with a cup of tea combined with the writing on real paper is allowing for a better flow of creativity.
Tea & Pen vs. Coffee House & Laptop
As I am failing to bring this random collection of ideas into a real structured blog post I realize that innovations are not a matter of new or old but in fact a matter of traditions.
It is not about tea it is about tea time, a moment to pause, to talk or to connect with others. Isn’t that what we do when we “meet for a coffee”, too? Same is with pen and paper. Sure we use laptops for most of our writing, in fact I am writing this blog post on mine. But to capture the moment, the idea or to draw funny faces while on that long and boring conference call … we use pen and paper.
Build Traditions not Empires
What turned tea time into a tradition while the British Empire disappeared? Personally I think it is because tea time is adding value and the Empire was (just) a structure needed to get it started. And maybe that is the one thing you can take away from me enjoying a comfy couch and great cup of tea: when you innovate, make sure you add value and don’t try to build an empire. Who knows, maybe you’ll start a tradition yourself.