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Sharing Ideas: The Mother of Invention

Jason Holland, Interactive Graphic Design

"It’s no secret that a conscience can sometimes be a pest It’s no secret ambition bites the nails of success Every artist is a cannibal, every poet is a thief All kill their inspiration and sing about their grief" - “The Fly” by U2

Sometimes it can seem there are no novel ideas—no new invention— each idea is built on one that came before it. As Bono said, “every poet is a thief.” Inspiration rarely happens in a vacuum with a “Eureka” moment and an idea that is truly unique. When we share an idea, it sparks a thought in someone else. They then take the idea to a level that would not have been considered before.

Society benefits from the exchange of ideas and it is a unique human feature. In a presentation at a TED conference in 2010, Matt Ridley said, “We are able to draw upon specialization and exchange to raise each other’s living standards.”
We live in an age where our bottom-up world allows everybody to have ideas and share them. Social media is a throttle that has kicked this classless collaboration into high gear. Together we all accelerate the rate of innovation. The whole domain of creativity expands.

Actor, Ashton Kutcher has become something of an in-demand guru for his insight into social media and the future of the Internet. In a recent interview with Details, Kutcher talks about how his success on Twitter has been sustained by using a method of sharing created by Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos. Called ICEE, the method is built on the goals to inspire, connect, entertain, and educate.

To be a conduit of ideas, we build on a system of open innovation, chance favoring the collective mind. We do not necessarily need to be the source of inspiration. Rather, by finding the ideas of others on our own, we can share them and inspire others. Sharing an idea can spark an idea in someone else that progresses the standard of living of us all.

In another presentation at the TED Conference in 2010, Steven Johnson advocated for the connection of ideas versus the protection of ideas. If we cut people off from exchange, the technological process is not only slowed down but, in fact, can actually be thrown into reverse. Protecting ideas hinders the exchange and specialization that fuels progress.

The sharing of ideas is the source of invention and innovation. By having a system that encourages open innovation, society and the standard of living progresses. As clever as anyone one individual may be, ideas that are relevant to society are the ones that are cooperative and openly communicated

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