Most people get rather intimidated when they hear the word “innovation.” And when asked to innovate something, it’s even worse. “What, do you want me to make the iPhone 6?” But I found that innovation is something different than that.
When we look at how ideas are created, most people remember the famous quote of Isaac Newton, “I have seen further by standing on the shoulders of giants,” which he probably coined from some dead guy before him. Nevertheless, Newton’s great findings would have never existed if those before him- Descartes, Kelper, and Galileo- never made their contributions.
If we look at the Enlightenment, great thinkers were gathering together in saloons and exchanging ideas. This was how so many great theories and truths were revealed. The “giants” before you do most of the hard work, you put it all together and there you have it.
Now, I feel as if too much competition has slightly gotten in the way of this. Sure, a little friendly competition is always good. But at the same time, we are now more afraid of exchanging our ideas, or at least I have been and have known people to be the same way.
In his brilliant series called “Everything is a Remix,” Kirby Ferguson talked about how now there is an idea that ideas are owned. This thinking can potentially harm innovation, or at least keep it from reaching its full potential.
I can relate to this in some ways. I remember not wanting to share some of my ideas because I didn’t want someone to “steal it,” only to find that another person had come up with an idea way more complex than mine. Oh well. Lesson learned.
I’ve also heard stories about contests in pastry schools where students would do anything to win- including trying to steal your recipes. Furthermore, I think the numerous amounts of copyright issues, which were made to spur creative thinking, now at times have billions of dollars go to waste.
In one of my favorite movies 3 Idiots, a professor who the students call Virus stands by this saying: “Life is a race. If you don’t run fast, you’ll get trampled.” This of course is far from the truth.
In my opinion, it takes several ideas to make an idea great. Just as standing on the shoulders of giants is of importance, so is collaboration. Don’t be afraid to share your ideas. Instead, do as much as you can to make them a reality.
I’m standing on the shoulders of giants, and the view is much different from down below. What can I accomplish from these heights? What can be done with these added strengths?