Zadra Creative Blog

Where do Ideas Come From?

Electrical ConnectionConception is a Matter of Connection.

 Question: How are most new ideas formed?

 Answer: A new idea is typically the result of associating one thing with another. In other words, “conception is a matter of connection.” If you connect one piece of information with a second piece of information, you get a third thing that is quite often a completely new and different animal or innovation.

It’s always been this way. In the 15th Century, Guttenberg connected the coin punch with the wine press to create one of humanity’s most important innovations—the printing press.

In the 20th Century, Fred Smith connected the airplane with the hub-and-spoke design of the old wagon wheel to create Federal Express’ ingenious “central hub-and-spoke” package delivery system.

The invention of the modern camera is a direct connection to the human eye. The design of the roll-on deodorant is a direct connection to the earlier ballpoint pen. The drive-in bank is a direct connection to the earlier drive-in movie. Connect Frisbee with Golf and you get—what?—Frisbee Golf.

And here’s the crazy part: The human brain—your brain—is comprised of 30 billion special cells called neurons. Each neuron is capable of making and storing one million connections. The combination is so huge that if you wrote it on paper it would stretch to the moon and back 17 times.

In other words, the number of creative connections you can make with your brain is virtually unlimited. That’s a beautiful and amazing power. Use it often and use it for good things.

An excerpt from the upcoming “Trust Your Crazy Ideas” book by Dan Zadra. To order your advance copy, click on the “RESERVE YOUR COPY” box on the right.

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