The 70s singer Gary Wright shot to stardom with his hit Dream Weaver. I remember hearing it on the radio like it was earlier today. It may be an age thing (I’m sure it is), but it stayed with me until now. His words always made me think of where ideas come from and why they find us. Or me.
I’m only a gnat in a billion, but I have ideas and some have been OK. Even pretty good. Much to the surprise of my grade-six teacher at grammar school, I’m sure. But, on reflection, he did often write on my report cards: "Jeremy is a bit of a dreamer."
Shit, maybe he wasn’t such an old crank after all… maybe he did see something in me that was good and positive. Too late to thank him now, though.
But the idea of where ideas come from still sits firmly in my mind. If you haven’t wondered before, I’m betting you will now. It’s easy to say "they just come to us", or "I saw this thing and it gave me an idea"… or "of course ideas come to us, we are stimulated, bombarded, even swamped continuously, with stuff, so it’s only natural that we get ideas… good and bad".
I can buy that. But I don’t believe it – or we would be surrounded by brilliance every day. OK, for the pedantic, we are surrounded by brilliance; in technology, in inventions, in coffee, in food, in… in… in…yeah, yeah, I get it. What I mean are the things that really go down in people’s minds as the "Why didn’t I think
of that?" or "I can’t believe it. It’s impossible" moments. Those things come from somewhere very different, and to people who are very special. People who somehow create the thing that stops us, and makes us all go: "Wow!"
Sir Richard Branson, one of the world’s most accomplished entrepreneurs, had "it". And when he turned "it" into reality, he was credited with revolutionising air travel and creating new standards by which the airline industry is now measured.
His brand is synonymous with new, different and radical. And it all stems from a university magazine, for which he had bigger ideas… music… and, from there, his head has been filled with more and more magical "its".
Making the impossible possible
Elon Musk is another who had "it"; and, once he sold his share in the PayPal venture, he began to have more "its".
The Tesla was the result of an "it". As it became a reality, the global car industry was given a wake-up call, heralding the arrival of what real electric-battery-powered automation should be. That car has had an impact on many countries’ attitudes to what true electric-car performance can be, not just in sleek vehicle design, but in Grand Prix-level performance.
Musk has changed the impression of the clumsy design and sluggish power of electric cars to one of desire, demand and competition. We all know what’s next – an even bigger "it".
Now we come to the biggest "it". Something we have all thought about since childhood, but which very few people have been able to bring to reality, and when they did, they stopped the world.
What amazing "it" was so powerful that, ever since, nothing on Earth seemed impossible to achieve? What made everyone on the planet believe the impossible was now possible? That having the belief, no matter what the "ask" or problem, someone, somewhere would make it happen or have the answer?
The power of dreams
It’s the very same "it" that both Branson and Musk had. The dream. The dream we’ve all dreamed – of going to the Moon.
On 20 July 1969, the dreams of talented creative scientists, technicians and specialists put a man on the Moon, changing our "blue planet", hundreds of thousands of miles away, forever. They brought him home to tell the story. Dreams do come true.
So, climb aboard your "astral plane". Point it to the stars and fly across the sea of fantasy and make your dreams come true.
This world of creativity relies on those gifted with imagi-nation. Those who dream and make those dreams happen are called visionaries, and visionaries change the world. Listen to the dreamer in you. Dream. Dream big. Dream big ideas.
My Cannes Essentials
When in Cannes… live like you live there.
My Cannes 2017 plan is… to not be a tourist.
My biggest Cannes luxury is… just being there.
What you don’t know about Cannes is… every year is different.
If you only do one thing in Cannes… enjoy the atmosphere with a true rosé.
Jeremy Perrott is global CCO at McCann Health