The Lone Genius Struck by Lightning

The traditional view of innovation is a lone genius who gets struck by lightning, has an amazing idea and then singlehandedly changes the world.

Makes for entertaining stories by the campfire.

The reality?

Innovation always comes from interaction with the environment. Experiments. Mistakes. Surprises. Data. Feedback.

Without this interaction, there would be no lightning.

Lone genius? 

Every innovator has worked with and built upon the work of others. Sometimes history has acknowledged this process. Many times, the story removes important supporting characters.

Amazing idea?

Everything is a remix. There’s nothing 100% new. It’s all a derivative, combination or permutation of existing reality.

Rather than falsely holding up the lone genius as a mythical superhero, we should be celebrating the power of people working together. That’s what creates the lightning in the first place.

Tytus Michalski