Redesign: Connectivity and Many Small Hunches

We all strive to be creative and come up with new, innovative ideas that will make a difference in our everyday lives, our environment, and our work .

Steve Johnson looks at this issue from the environmental perspective and he found that there are certain recurring patterns he calls “small hunches”. He indicates that innovative ideas need time, you cannot force them. They can be a sudden stroke of inspiration and it takes time to generate all these small hunches into something great.  Ideas need time to incubate.

A good example is the creation of the World Wide Web, that it took Sir Tim Berners-Lee almost a ten years of full vision to cumulate smaller hunches and create something big over the time, such as interwebs.

The other important thing is that our ideas or hunches need to collide with other hunches. In other words, your ideas have to collide with other people’s ideas.  Some may say that the internet is more and more distracted medium but on the other side it enable us to connect in so many ways that we could not have imagined ten or twenty years ago. Of course, there are debates and questions whether the internet is an engine of creativity or serendipity, I’d rather say it is an idea generator medium that helps us to exchange our ideas with others. It is a medium to share and exchange creativity and innovation with others.

In the following video “Where Good Ideas Come From”, Steven Johnson addresses an urgent and universal question: “What sparks the flash of brilliance? How does groundbreaking innovation happen? Answering in his infectious, culturally omnivorous style, using his fluency in fields from neurobiology to popular culture, Johnson provides the complete, exciting, and encouraging story of how we generate the ideas that push our careers, our lives, our society, and our culture forward.”

I would like to hear from you where do you get innovative ideas from – for your work and in everyday life? Does the Internet help your ideas generation as an interactive, serendipitious tool or is it rather a distracting tool?

Photo source: martymadrid

Danica is an internet researcher, consultant and speaker on social media and digital inclusion. Her academic research is rooted in her own practical experiences breaking down digital walls in central European society. She is Tech, and Research editor for Australian Science. Read more of her work at her blog, and follow her on twitter @DanicaR.

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2 thoughts on “Redesign: Connectivity and Many Small Hunches

  1. Danica,

    This reminds me of a TV interview I saw recently when Tony Martin interviewed Santo Cilauro (Working Dog Productions: The Castle, The Dish, ..) where they discussed how their creative process works. One of the interesting things that he mentioned was that they often have an idea, it gets bounced around and if none of them leap on it immediately, it gets put on the back burner. At a later time, they revisit the back burner to see if fresh discussion of that topic sparks new ideas, concepts and creative thinking – which might ultimately lead them to invest serious time & energy into taking the idea further.

    For me personally, I draw a lot of inspiration from browsing the web, noticing interesting ideas that could be applied to a different product or in a unique way. I also have a fantastic relationship with a work colleague and we have great discussions where creative juices just start flowing & we feverishly take notes to revisit at a later time.


  2. Many times ideas have to “sleep over” and then they grow into something more interesting, I agree.
    With Web services developing everyday and millions of people interacting and sharing it is not surprise that all of us get lot of inspiration right there. Thanks for your feedback.