Innovation at work
When you look at great geniuses like Newton, for example, it can be easy to imagine that their ideas and work came exclusively out of their minds. But that is seldom how it works.
Innovation doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Regardless of how unique a work seems, if you look a bit closer, you will always find that the creator mastered what other people had already figured out.
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Technology, art, and other advances are only possible because someone else has laid the groundwork.
Shakespeare could write plays because other people had developed the structures and language that became his tools.
What new doors can you open, based on the work of the giants that came before you? What opportunities can you see that they couldn't?
Why can't people come up with their own ideas? Why do many people come up with great ideas but don't profit from it?
Each new innovation or idea opens up the possibility of additional innovations and ideas. At first, there are limits, but those limits are continually expanding.
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it. They just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while; that’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.”
Much of Shakespeare's plays came from prior works.
However, if you take a look at any of the original texts, you will find them dry, unengaging, and lacking any sort of poetic language. So he took these texts and turned them into works of literary art.
Steve Jobs is often shown as a revolutionary figure who changed how we use technology. In reality, he stood on the shoulders of the many unseen engineers, students, and scientists who worked for decades to build the technology he improved upon.
We get to see further than our predecessors, not because we have a greater vision or greater height, but because we are lifted on their gigantic stature.
There are giants in every field. Don't let them intimidate you. Take from anywhere that resonates with you and inspires or fuels your imagination. Build upon it and improve it. Doing this will make your work authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent.
Many stories have a lone person, who is unknown but eventually becomes a hero due to his years of toiling and getting success. We like to think of this ‘heroic’ feat as something done exclusively by the hero.
The role of the team, the other people that are not in the frame is often overlooked. Any important achievement cannot be done alone, and if we look closely, a person is a product of the education system, society, environment, luck, the internet and a lot more.
The legend of Steve Jobs is that he transformed our lives with the strength of his convictions. However he started oppoaing the greatest 🍏's innovations:F
We owe it to the because of people who knew how to change his mind.