How Jagger Learned To Move His Stones On Stage

“If you think like everyone else
then you are not thinking”


It seems counter-intuitive.

It seems wrong.

But I’ve seen over and over again just how right it is.

The fact that the more constrained or restricted you are the more creative you become.

And the more profitable.

Let me explain what I mean with a couple of examples.

Back when the Rolling Stones just got started, guitarist Keith Richards says Mick Jagger learned to dance the way he does for one specific reason. It was because he was constrained by the stage he was on.

You see, in the early days the stages the Stones performed on were incredibly small.

So small in fact that after all the equipment got set up, Jagger only had a 4 foot by 4 foot square to move around in. That really tight constraint forced Jagger to be creative on how he got the attention of his audience.

And as a result it led to all those signature “Jagger” moves he has become famous for.

Contrast that to today’s larger stages where that 4 x 4 constraint no longer exists and you have Keith Richards commenting how Jagger’s dancing has gotten less interesting as a result.

When you are forced into a situation where you have to perform but are severely restricted, you have to abandon all conventional thought.

The constraint is what fuels creativity.

Here is another example.

Audi had participated in the grueling 24 hour Le Mans race for years.

The chief engineer asked his team a question that had a built-in constraint. He asked, “How could they win the Le Man’s race if they couldn’t go faster than anyone else?”

The answer they came up with? Less pit stops.

That one innovative idea spurred the team on to develop a car that used diesel technology. It meant getting more fuel efficiency and fewer pit stops.


Audi won the Le Man’s race for the next three years straight.

Audi’s problem reminds a lot of the problem I had years ago after the building my business was in burned to the ground.

I was forced to move my rug cleaning operation into a two car garage.

If going from thousands of square feet to a few hundred isn’t a constraint then I don’t know what is.

Immediately I ran into a problem of how to dry rugs.

In my old building I had a rope and pulley system to lift and hang rugs up high from 30 foot ceiling. I didn’t have that luxury any longer because my ceiling was now about 9 feet or so.

The constraint made re-think the whole drying scenario and I came up with the EZ-Tower system where I had two metal ends I would connect with wooden 2×4’s.

The reason I chose 2×4’s over metal spanners is because I wanted the option to be able to adjust the size of my EZ-Tower.

I wanted it to fit in any size location I had available whether it was 10 feet or 40 feet and I could cut 2×4’s to match the size.

I needed it to be movable so I could roll the fully loaded unit outside in the sun to dry and have more space to work inside.

I also figured out a way to lift wet huge heavy 400 lb rugs on to the EZ-Tower by myself using simple leverage (no ropes, cables, pulleys or motors).

Plus be able to hang 182 lineal feet & 2160 sq ft of area rugs all at the same time.

Is it any wonder then how this dry tower design became one of the best selling pieces of equipment in our industry?

You can see how powerful constraints can be when it comes to products.

Just wait until tomorrow where I am going to reveal how constraints affected my marketing!

Stephen “Dusty” Roberts

P.S. In case you are a bit fuzzy as to how the EZ-Tower looks and works, check out all the videos and models here: