On Finding Great Ideas

By Deane Barker on February 21, 2012

Kirby Ferguson just competed his four-part video series, Everything is a Remix.   This project has been a Kickstarter darling for a couple of years now – funded entirely through donations.

It’s totally worth watching – I took in all four parts last night in about 30 minutes.  It’s a great look at where ideas come from and how they get re-used and re-combined with other ideas to form new things.  He gets a little political in the fourth part, which I found a bit boring, but the rest of it is a highly entertaining look at the art of the remix in media and popular culture.

Just recently, I read about this exact same thing in a wonderful book called Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation.  It’s a really deep dive into the seven major sources of innovation, which includes the combination of two ideas to form another.  Wonderful book – probably the most important book I’ve read since Cluetrain.

Along these same lines, be sure to check out Matt Ridley’s TED talk on “idea sex.”  Same concept – great things are made up of smaller ideas put together in new ways.