Why the Best Ideas Come From Coffee Shops

Image Credit @ ivelin from Deposit Photos

“Chance favors the connected mind” — Steven Johnson

Some people believe that your best ideas come from solitude, but research actually suggests that the opposite is true: your best ideas come from social interaction with others.

To get a clearer understanding of why this is, author Steven Johnson takes us back to our origins in his book, “Where Good Ideas Come From”. He says, “For ages, early humans lived in the cultural equivalent of gaseous networks: small packs of hunter-gatherers bouncing around the landscape, with almost no contact between groups. But the rise of agriculture changed all that. For the first time, humans began forming groups that numbered in the thousands, or tens of thousands.”

People started to arrange themselves into towns and cities where ideas could be shared and expanded on. Before this happened, if a person came up with an idea and had no one to share it with, the idea died with them.

Bill Gates further expands on the idea that most great ideas aren’t just “eureka” moments. He says, “The decision to start Microsoft, for example, wasn’t based on a momentous flash of insight. At the foundation, our work in global health, development, and education builds on the great ideas that others have developed over the years in a wide range of fields.”

Ideas grow when they are questioned, built, and combined in ways that could only take place between groups of people.

“An idea is often just the tip of the iceberg for developing something much greater and there is great value in allowing others to come into conversation about the idea”.

So the next time you think you may be on to something, get a friend and grab some coffee.

Your head is for having ideas, not holding them” — David Allen

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