JJ Abrams’ Mystery Box

In: Insights

I absolutely love this TED talk by JJ Abrams. Now I know why I am so drawn to all of Abrams’ work, Lost, Alias, Cloverfield, Mission Impossible, Star Trek, 10 Cloverfield Lane, etc. It has to do with Abrams’ mastery of mystery.

He talks about buying a Mystery Box at a little magic shop in NYC. It was decades ago that he went there with his Grandfather and bought the box for $15, completely sealed with a big question mark on the front. I can’t imagine the discipline it took to leave the box unopened on a shelf in his office! But a few things he said really rang true for me. Here are a few highlights if you don’t have the 18 minutes to watch his talk…

• To Abrams, the unopened mystery box represents infinite possibility, infinite hope, infinite potential.
• Mystery is the catalyst to imagination, it’s more important than knowledge, and mystery boxes are in everything.
• He is an Apple fanatic (as am I) and when he sits down at his Mac PowerBook laptop, he feels inspired by the technology in front of him. His Mac asks him “what are you going to write worthy of me?”
• The blank page is a mystery box, waiting to be filled with spirit, thought, and emotion.
• Going to the movies, watching the lights go down is a mystery box.

I love what he implies about technology inspiring creative people to be creative, which inspires technology people, an endless look of inspiration.

Check out the video for yourself and be inspired!