In his recent book Stevan Johnson attempts to explore the origins of Good Ideas.
It was a very informative read that provides alot of background around the origin of many familiar good ideas but whose actual circumstances surrounding tier origins are less known. While doing so he begins to lay out a basis for the premise that by creating more conducive environments for growth we can increase the odds of good ideas occurring.
The 7 factors that play into spawning Good ideas are;
1. The Adjacent Possible
Good Idea = The Incubator, Ideas are often constrained by the parts and skills that surround them.
2. Liquid Networks
Good Idea = Double Entry Bookkeeping, Cities and the spill over they create are great hotbeds for good ideas. Even with all the advances of technology the most productive tool for generating good ideas remains a circle of humans around a table talking shop.
3. The Slow Hunch
Good Idea = "The World Wide Web, was form by the swirling together of influences,ideas, and the realization from many sides, until by the wondrous offices of the human mind, a new concept jelled". Some ideas take decades to suddenly occur.
Good Idea = The Nature of Nerve Connections , Sometimes hunches need to bump into each other and this often happens by accidents.
Good Idea = The Vacuum Tube , Fail Faster! Mistakes are an inevitable step on the path to true Innovation. "Perhaps of the errors of Mankind all things considered is more valuable and interesting then that of their discoveries..." Ben Franklin
Good Idea = Gutenberg Press , Tweaking the intended design or use of other ideas can produce truly great ideas. (I have to admit, i did not even know what exaptation meant but I like it now that I know that i do)
Good Idea = Coral Reef inspired Concrete , Today's Good ideas stand on the shoulder of Giants from Yesterday and will launch the Good Ideas of tomorrow.
These all lead to what may be the most beneficial part of the book and that is the discussion that makes up the last chapter " The Fourth Quadrant" Steven charts the top 200 Good Ideas of all time and makes a strong case for a new way of looking at the very essence of how we build around Creative Thought.
IF you are a business or community leader the impact of grasping the concept of "The Forth Quadrant" is huge. I will not shortchange you by trying to communicate it myself , and I recommend that you take the time to read the chapters leading up to it as well. Like higher math the principles tend to build on each other but like Art you really do not see it coming until you are looking at the final product. This book is a must read that is actually fun for the Brain.
To hear Steven say it himself follow this link.