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Sheri Edwards

The Origins of Good Ideas - - 0 views

  • the way that good ideas usually come into the world. They are, inevitably, constrained by the parts and skills that surround them.
  • Nike announced a new Web-based marketplace it calls the GreenXchange, where it has publicly released more than 400 of its patents that involve environmentally friendly materials or technologies. The marketplace is a kind of hybrid of commercial self-interest and civic good. This makes it possible for outside firms to improve on those innovations, creating new value that Nike might ultimately be able to put to use itself in its own products.
  • The strange and beautiful truth about the adjacent possible is that its boundaries grow as you explore them
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  • Johannes Gutenberg, for instance, took the older technology of the screw press, designed originally for making wine, and reconfigured it with metal type to invent the printing press.
  • The premise that innovation prospers when ideas can serendipitously connect and recombine with other ideas may seem logical enough, but the strange fact is that a great deal of the past two centuries of legal and folk wisdom about innovation has pursued the exact opposite argument, building walls between ideas.
  • intellectual property, trade secrets, proprietary technology, top-secret R&D labs.
  • they reduce the overall network of minds that can potentially engage with a problem, and they reduce the unplanned collisions between ideas originating in different fields.
  • Modeled on the success of services like Twitter and Flickr, new Web startups now routinely make their software accessible to programmers who are not on their payroll, allowing these outsiders to expand on and remix the core product in surprising new ways.
  • the adjacent possible defines all those molecular reactions that were directly achievable in the primordial soup. Sunflowers and mosquitoes and brains exist outside that circle of possibility. The adjacent possible is a kind of shadow future, hovering on the edges of the present state of things, a map of all the ways in which the present can reinvent itself.
  • Nike is widening the network of minds who are actively thinking about how to make its ideas more useful, without adding any more employees
  • might well turn out to be advantageous to industries or markets
  • Apollo 13 mission
  • the mission control engineers realize they need to create an improvised carbon dioxide filter, or the astronauts will poison the lunar module atmosphere with their own exhalations before they return to Earth.
  • "We gotta find a way to make this fit into a hole for this," he says, and then points to the spare parts on the table, "using nothing but that."
  • the building blocks that create—and limit—the space of possibility for a specific problem
  • The trick is to get more parts on the table.
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