Breakthrough Ideas Are Not Created In a Vacuum

Posted by:

Your next great idea will not come to you out of thin air.

I can say this with near 100% certainty because that’s not how ideas work. That breakthrough idea—the one that will make you rich and famous by Thursday—will not be created in a vacuum. More likely, it’ll be the result of a collision. A collision of dots.


Let me explain. Creativity (which is simply the process of coming up with ideas) is all about connecting dots. These dots can be anything: ideas, experiences, people. And so it stands to reason, doesn’t it, that the more of these dots you have available to you, and the more different they are, the more creative your ideas will be. As I say in my TEDx Talk below, “Creativity is the spark that ignites when two or more different dots collide.”

#Creativity is the spark that ignites when two or more different dots collide. Share on X

So, given all of this, let’s formulate a simple little Aristotelian syllogism. (And this is exciting for me, because I haven’t played with Aristotelian syllogisms since I studied formal logic in college.)

Premise 1: You want a breakthrough idea.
Premise 2: Ideas are not created in a vacuum.
Conclusion: You should probably stop living in a vacuum.

If you live in a vacuum, you'll never find that breakthrough idea. #Creativity Share on X

You: “But I don’t live in a vacuum! And I know that because I can breathe, and there’s no air in a vacuum. You’re not the only one who went to college, smartass!”

Fair point. You don’t live in an actual vacuum. But do you live in an idea vacuum? Do you surround yourself with people who basically look like you, dress like you, vote like you, think like you, believe like you? If so, you’re living in an idea vacuum, and you’re robbing yourself of the ingredients that will lead to that breakthrough idea. I mean, c’mon—you do want to be rich and famous by Thursday, don’t you?

If you want to explore this concept a little more (and have a few laughs along the way), then I encourage you to take 18 minutes and watch my TEDx talk. And if, after watching it, you feel that any part of it resonates with you, then please share it with your community as well. Because nobody ever said, “You know what our problem is? We have too many breakthrough ideas!”
[video_player type=”youtube” youtube_remove_logo=”Y” width=”560″ height=”315″ align=”center” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”20″]aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cueW91dHViZS5jb20vd2F0Y2g/dj1rc2hib0p4bVU3aw==[/video_player]

If this TEDx Talk resonates with you, please Like it and Share it with your friends and colleagues! Thank you!


About the Author:

29-time Emmy Award winner and Hall of Fame keynote speaker Bill Stainton, CSP is an expert on Innovation, Creativity, and Breakthrough Thinking. He helps leaders and their teams come up with innovative solutions — on demand — to their most challenging problems.
  Related Posts