Where Good Ideas Come From

April 27th, 2011 | Posted by John Kapeleris in Ideas

“Chance favors the connected mind!”

I found the following video on “Where Good Ideas Come From” very knowledgeable and informative.

You can also check out Steven Johnson’s interesting book “Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation” which describes Seven Key Principles to maximize creativity:

  1. The adjacent possible – the principle that at any given moment, extraordinary change is possible but that only certain changes can occur (this describes those who create ideas that are ahead of their time and whose ideas reach their ultimate potential years later).
  2. Liquid networks – the nature of the connections that enable ideas to be born, to be nurtured and to blossom and how these networks are formed and grown.
  3. The slow hunch – the acceptance that creativity doesn’t guarantee an instant flash of insight but rather, germinates over time before manifesting.
  4. Serendipity – the notion that while happy accidents help allow creativity to flourish, it is the nature of how our ideas are freely shared, how they connect with other ideas and how we perceive the connection at a specific moment that creates profound results.
  5. Error – the realization that some of our greatest ideas didn’t come as a result of a flash of insight that followed a number of brilliant successes but rather, that some of those successes come as a result of one or more spectacular failures that produced a brilliant result.
  6. Exaptation – the principle of seizing existing components or ideas and re-purposing them for a completely different use (for example, using a GPS unit to find your way to a reunion with a long-lost friend when GPS technology was originally created to help us accurately bomb another country into oblivion).
  7. Platforms – adapting many layers of existing knowledge, components, delivery mechanisms and such that in themselves may not be unique but which can be recombined or leveraged into something new that is unique or novel.

Where do you get your ideas from?

Dr John Kapeleris

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2 Responses

  • Amazing John, just amazing. I watched this with my 12 year old daughter, stopping regularly to explain concepts I probably should have shared with her long ago. I wonder how I’d go with the paper clip.


    • John Kapeleris says:

      Hi Geoff,

      I thought it was a great video because it described the concept of where good ideas come from in a very simple, comprehensive and entertaining way.

      I am glad you enjoyed it and also that you shared it with your daughter.




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