This was the most exciting day of Vera Brandes’ life.

It was January 1975 and 17-year-old Vera walked out onto the stage of the Cologne Opera House. The auditorium was empty. It was lit only by the dim, green glow of the emergency exit sign.

She was the youngest concert promoter in Germany, and she had persuaded the Cologne Opera House to host a late-night concert of jazz from the American musician, Keith Jarrett. 1,400 people were coming.

And in just a few hours, Jarrett would walk out on the same stage, he’d sit down at the piano and without rehearsal or sheet music, he would begin to play.

Or would he?

This TED talk by Tim Harford explores how messiness and frustration can lead to major creative breakthroughs.  And why it’s important to have “strangers” collaborate.

Watch it here…

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