Who is the owner of your idea?

Scott Berkun stated that every idea comes from another idea.

[use] the following simple definition: an idea is a combination of other ideas. Say it five times out loud. Say it to your cat. Yell it out you car window at strangers waiting for the bus. Every amazing creative thing you’ve ever seen, or idea you’ve ever heard can be broken down into smaller ideas that existed before. An automobile? An engine + wheels. A telephone? Electricity and sound. Reese’s peanut butter cups? Peanut butter and chocolate. All great creative ideas, inventions, and theories are comprised of other ideas. Why should you care? Here’s why: if you want to be a creator instead of a mere consumer you must see ideas currently in the world as fuel for your mind. You must stop seeing them as objects or functional things: they are combinations of ingredients waiting for reuse. Reference

And Michael Crichton believed that you can’t write anything from the scratch.

Books aren’t written – they’re rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn’t quite done it.

But not only have these individuals believed like this, King Solomon in the bible also mentioned the same thing

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? It hath been already of old time, which was before us. Reference

If anything new is not really happening, but all new methods and actions based on old ideas, then, there is no a thing like own idea. This leads us into an interesting concept of prediction. If we don’t own our own ideas, we hardly know where it comes from and where it is going. We don’t know what kind of ideas will come based on our ideas.

Michael Crichton once again said,

Let’s think back to people in 1900 in, say, New York. If they worried about people in 2000, what would they worry about? Probably: Where would people get enough horses? And what would they do about all the horse manure? Horse pollution was bad in 1900; think how much worse it would be a century later, with so many more people riding horses?

But of course, within a few years, nobody rode horses except for sport. And in 2000, France was getting 80% its power from an energy source that was unknown in 1900. Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and Japan were getting more than 30% from this source, unknown in 1900. Remember, people in 1900 didn’t know what an atom was. They didn’t know its structure. They also didn’t know what a radio was, or an airport, or a movie, or a television, or a computer, or a cell phone, or a jet, an antibiotic, a rocket, a satellite, an MRI, ICU, IUD, IBM, IRA, ERA, EEG, EPA, IRS, DOD, PCP, HTML, the Internet, interferon….

Now. You tell me you can predict the world of 2100. Tell me it’s even worth thinking about. Our models just carry the present into the future. They’re bound to be wrong. Everybody who gives a moment’s thought knows it. Reference

And Scott said,

None of our theories about the world are entirely true and this is good. If we had perfect answers for things progress would be impossible, as to believe in the idea of progress requires belief in the many ignorances of the present. Look back in time 100, 50, or even 5 years, and consider how misguided the wisest, smartest people of those days were compared with what you know now

So what we need to know is to see around, and think what is really going on in our minds. These all ideas which are coming to us already were an idea. As long as we have pretty good ideas, we shouldn’t afraid to make it real. Sooner or later, based on our ideas, other ideas will be created. After all, these ideas are not owned by us.


  1. Sara · January 14, 2011

    wow, interesting concept. I’ve always kinda thought the same thing actually. original ideas come like once in a blue moon. but i would really like to see what original ideas will come in the next few yrs… 🙂

  2. Pingback: Idea Generation « SukerSays

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