There is a lot of half science about where good ideas come from and how they mature. Sometimes it is just a hunch, sometimes serendipity or a chance conversation or a cold shower. Sometimes it is sheer persistence and perseverance in the face of objection and the oft-quoted clause “it can’t be done” or “you can’t do it”. Sometimes it is dumb luck (an unguided form of serendipity). Most times innovation just feeds on the incremental discoveries of others – after all everything and nothing is original. Many good ideas are picked up by others who have a better sense of timing and opportunity, or the presence or guile to raise needed capital to bring them to fruition. The fruits of one’s labour (the so-called ‘inventor’) are in truth the results of the labour of many.
In this sense, every idea like every living thing and the history of good ideas, comes with its own well spring.
Steven Johnson is a master at dissecting – obviously in retrospect – where good ideas come from. He cannot predict any better than you or I where the next set of good ideas will come from, only that they will indeed come. Enjoy this short video as he explains how good ideas evolve..