Where Good Ideas Come From - Steven Johnson

Where Good Ideas Come From - Steven Johnson

Ideas innovate the world! Learn how the main ideas that transformed society emerged and how you can apply these innovative methods in practice.

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Do you have those moments of epiphany? Have you come across ideas or thoughts that don't seem to make much sense? Have you ever imagined where you could go if you put your instincts to work? If the answer is yes, then the book "Where Good Ideas Come From", by author Steven Johnson, was made for you.

It is essential for you to become aware of countless cases in which transformative intelligence has been exploited and transfigured society. After reading it, you will understand the innovative mechanisms it brings within you.

Are you curious? Kill your curiosity now with this PocketBook and allow yourself to evolve!

About the book "Where Good Ideas Come From"

"Where Good Ideas Come From" is an american book, which was written by author Steven Johnson and published in 2010 by Riverhead Books.

In it, we can discover, in 7 chapters, methods and practices to develop ideas and evolve our way of thinking and acting.

About the author Steven Johnson

Steven Johnson is an American writer, graduated in Semiotics from Brown University and in English Literature from Columbia University.

He was best-selling author of the books "Interface Culture", "The Ghost Map", "Mind Wide Open" and "Emergence".

To whom is this book indicated?

"Where Good Ideas Come From" is suitable for anyone who wants to learn innovative methods to put ideas into practice and transform the world!

Main ideas of the book "Where Good Ideas Come From"

  • Explanation of what is "the possible adjacent" and its finitude;
  • How networks help in the development of ideas;
  • How to explore your intuitions into effective, effectual and efficient material;
  • How causality can generate changes in society;
  • Why you should pay more attention to your mistakes instead of rejecting them;
  • How to leverage existing ideas to improve the performance of your own creations;
  • What platforms are and how they act as a space for the dissemination of ideas.

In this PocketBook, we will explain the 7 methods that author Steven Johnson brings to explore our creative thinking and evolve the way we think and act.


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[Book Summary] Where Good Ideas Come from - Steven Johnson

Overview: 1. The Possible Adjacent

The principle of innovation that tends to recombine elements, such as recycling, is linked to the very origin of life. For these first-order combinations, scientist Stuart Kauffman suggested the name "the possible adjacent".

The recombination and opening of new paths through the possible adjacent can tell the story of human life and culture.

According to the book "Where Good Ideas Come From", the possible adjacent is linked to a chronological succession of events that, if overcome, do not find gears in their time for perfect functioning.

What author Steven Johnson means is that we are at the mercy of our own versions of the possible adjacent.

In addition, we must be aware of the possibilities available around us, avoiding very high flights that may not find stable ground in their landing.

Overview: 2. Fluid Networks

Here, the idea is understood as a network of connected cells, producing a unique product with each new impulse, connected and plastic. However, how to make these impulses an epiphany? And how to make these networks more creative?

Humanity's innovations throughout its history have made countless advances possible.

However, the network is not smart in itself. It gives individuals connected to it the opportunity to obtain greater intelligence.

In defending the importance of intelligible connection networks, the author Steven Johnson suggests observation research that proves group work as a tool that enabled cognitive advancement.

The book, "Where Good Ideas Come From", explains that the architecture and configuration of networks are key factors in their use. Hence, the fluidity and liquidity of the networks as primary factors for the constitution of ideas.

Overview: 3. Slow Intuition

Intuitions are, or can be (beyond speculation), provocative ideas about an observed fact. Or, insights with powers of transformation, urgency and innovation.

Instant intuitive judgments can escape the idea of liquid and fluid networks, as well as the necessary connections between possible adjacent ones.

As explained by author Steven Johnson in his book, "Where Good Ideas Come From", innovative intuitions tend to go through a slow process, consisting of consecutive and cultivated questions.

This is what makes them so challenging and in the future considered epiphanies.

Overview: 4. Serendipity

In this chapter of the book "Where Good Ideas Come From", author Steven Johnson makes a scientific debate about the nature of neural connections.

We were able to learn both the physical and chemical aspects of this nature, caused respectively by electrical signals and neurotransmitter messages.

Thus, neuron combinations and recombinations explore memories and associations that generate ideas. When we are sleeping, for example, we can explore the possible adjacent dreams. Or else through slow intuitions and combinatorial chance.

It's also here that data is presented questioning the concept of IQ as brain ordering, thinking about the search for chaos and the optimal results achieved during phase-locking, both with the brain awake.

Serendipity can be cultivated both collectively, in networks, and privately. This occurs mainly through technological assistance, through the connection and occasional recombination of ideas.

It can also be cultivated through organizational techniques, such as brainstorming, taking advantage of both subjective and collective intelligence.

Overview: 5. Mistake

Author Steven Johnson leads us to positive reflections on error / misunderstanding. Among them, he points out that an unexpected effect in an experiment can generate the analysis of new results, instead of rejecting such causality.

He assumes with his assumption cases where goals have been achieved and scientific discoveries have been explored, thanks to observation and appreciation of error. Such misunderstandings can be transformed into insights in laboratory meetings and debates.

The error produces results different from those caused by the hit. And its rate of change tends to be much higher.

Overview: 6. Exaptation

Exaptation is a process of reusing an artifact or a feature already adapted for a defined use.

As an example, the author Steven Johnson talks about the screw press for wine production that Gutenberg used for the production of mass communication material.

According to the book "Where Good Ideas Come From", expansion is favored in liquid networks, mainly numerous.

An example is large cities, places where ideas and skills are widely shared, bringing together possible innovations by chance.

Overview: 7. Platforms

Platforms are spaces that allow the diffusion of ideas from research, discussions and experiences.

Even involuntarily, their creators start from a subsistence idea and turn them into a space for dialogue and production. Want an example of this? How about "Shall we exchange some ideas over a cup of coffee?"

The web is a platform in stacks, one above the other, where they don't start from scratch. However, they make it possible to create new platforms by recycling waste of abandoned ideas and goods.

Platforms from different niches connect, as we can see the integration of the city and the web.

Overview: Conclusion - The Fourth Quadrant

Ideas and innovations fall into four quadrants. The first and second refer to individual and collective ideas, respectively, with market interest.

The third and fourth, similarly, refer to ideas (individual and collective) that are not interested in the economic sphere.

Such quadrants obey the structural phenomena of their current context. For example, between 1400 and 1600, where information networks are slow and the market not so well structured, the third quadrant encompasses most innovations.

Here, a reflection is intended, mainly, about the phenomenon caused by the innovation boom in the fourth quadrant. From the year 1800 to the present, the causes highlight the complexity of relationships. In this era, we have the largest flow of information.

Author Steven Johnson explains in his book, "Where Good Ideas Come From", that the seven standards mentioned work both individually and in an integrated way in this era. In addition, they add to the modernization of collective thinking.

What do other authors say about it?

Jay Samit, in his work "Disrupt You!", says that innovative ideas have the power to transform the world and disrupt the system. For you to trigger a disruptive profile, it is necessary that you plan your goals and be susceptible to both internal and external changes.

Getting into leadership issues, Ed Catmull, author of the book "Creativity, Inc.", advises: always give people more preference than ideas, because creative people create good ideas, but good ideas can be destroyed by bad teams.

Finally, author Austin Kleon says you don't have to create a whole new idea. In his book "Steal Like an Artist", he reveals that you can do something authentic based on the ideas of those who inspire you. You can stimulate your creativity by stepping out of your comfort zone and surrounding yourself with people who support and add to your creative process.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

  • Take a risk: error analysis can induce you to get it right;
  • Allow yourself to explore creative and innovative ideas; the world is constantly changing;
  • Believe in your creative potential: you have the power to transform the world;
  • Dialogue and explore your ideas. Encourage the exchange of ideas between new people through the internet;
  • Be who you want to be: your idea will only reach authenticity and maximum power when you are true to yourself and live your purpose.

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