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Ideas have sex?

Posted by John on October 19, 2010

Yes.  You read that right.  Ideas work best when they have sex with other ideas.  

I know that none of this comes as a surprise to any of you.  When are we our most successful at driving new concepts into commercialization?  When we build off of each others’ expertise, we are able to take two ideas and create an offspring concept that is improved and probably better solves the problem.

If you would like to watch an entertaining talk on this subject, see Matt Ridley on TedX.  http://www.ted.com/talks/matt_ridley_when_ideas_have_sex.html

As you look around you, is there anything there that you could really make by yourself?  Everything we see and own comes to us after passing through the hands of many specialists and experts who each lend their ideas to the final delivered product.  And this makes us all better as it frees us up to do what we do best.

Ridley’s example on the Prosperity of Time relative to 1 hour of reading light at night was a great illustration of how the sharing of ideas and the cross fertilization of expertise can deliver great things to mankind.

            Year                                    Cost in Worked Seconds

                                               To “buy” one hour of reading light

        Pre-1800                      21600(6 hours) – think whale oil, candles,

             1880                      900 (15 minutes) – introduction of gas lamps

             1950                                                    8

             2010                                                  0.5

That is a 25% reduction in “cost” every 5.5 years.  This is the power of collaborating on new ideas.

So, think about these ideas:

  1.  What is my work specialization?  What is yours?
  2. Can we share to lighten the load?  I do what I do best as do you and we both prosper more.
  3. What can I do to drive exchange and construction of ideas between groups?
  4. What can I add to your idea to help it grow and thrive?

The power of this allows you to have things you do not understand at a reasonable cost.  Look at that LCD TV in your media room.  It is an amazing piece of technology with semiconductors, infrared emitters and receivers, advanced materials etc.   How much of that do you really understand?  But yet, they are nearly ubiquitous in the US for entertainment today.

So, communicate and cooperate when it comes to new ideas.  The collective intelligence with your team and partners will drive you forward faster and farther.

Have a great week!!

John

P.S.  Do you love America and appreciate Patriotism?  Here is a story about a little old man in a little spot in near Cape May, NJ showing his appreciation for those that have served and, in some cases, given their full measure.  Say thank you to a vet or an active military person.   Thanks Chris, Amanda, Nate, Kelly, Eric as well as all of your friends and comrades.

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6642221n&tag=mncol;lst;1

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