In these times of automation and cost-cutting, one of the most important things for me is to develop my own special sauce.
That thing that no one can imitate, characterizes and distinguishes me. My secret to bringing value to the clients I work for. Truly quantifiable value.
The best game design book in the world (The Art of Game Design by Jesse Shell, of course) starts with a great lesson on inspiration: Look everywhere else.
In the story there is a gathering of conjurers, one catches the attention of the protagonist who asks him how he can be so original. The magician explains that he tries to look outside his own world and import things from other contexts.
It’s a way of making your own special sauce. I’ve been following this suggestion for years. One of the places I look as a game designer is marketing, specifically the world of UA.