Where Good Ideas Come From

If you haven’t ever seen the amazing whiteboard animations created by RSA Animate, start here. This is Steven Johnson’s TED lecture “Where Good Ideas Come From,” brought to life by the 21st century enlightenment folks at the RSA.

Steven speaks to the power of technology that’s allowed us all to connect and share our ideas – to borrow each other’s “hunches,” combine them with our own “hunches,” and turn them into something new… which is where great ideas come from.



Update: November 30, 2011

More ideas coming from more places! Check out this post on “Where Ideas Come From” from Seth’s Blog:

Where do ideas come from?

  • Ideas don’t come from watching television
  • Ideas sometimes come from listening to a lecture
  • Ideas often come while reading a book
  • Good ideas come from bad ideas, but only if there are enough of them
  • Ideas hate conference rooms, particularly conference rooms where there is a history of criticism, personal attacks or boredom
  • Ideas occur when dissimilar universes collide
  • Ideas often strive to meet expectations. If people expect them to appear, they do
  • Ideas fear experts, but they adore beginner’s mind. A little awareness is a good thing
  • Ideas come in spurts, until you get frightened. Willie Nelson wrote three of his biggest hits in one week
  • Ideas come from trouble
  • Ideas come from our ego, and they do their best when they’re generous and selfless
  • Ideas come from nature
  • Sometimes ideas come from fear (usually in movies) but often they come from confidence
  • Useful ideas come from being awake, alert enough to actually notice
  • Though sometimes ideas sneak in when we’re asleep and too numb to be afraid
  • Ideas come out of the corner of the eye, or in the shower, when we’re not trying
  • Mediocre ideas enjoy copying what happens to be working right this minute
  • Bigger ideas leapfrog the mediocre ones
  • Ideas don’t need a passport, and often cross borders (of all kinds) with impunity
  • An idea must come from somewhere, because if it merely stays where it is and doesn’t join us here, it’s hidden. And hidden ideas don’t ship, have no influence, no intersection with the market. They die, alone.

Where else do you think ideas come from?

Arrow Facebook Twitter

Recent Posts