June 03, 2013

Space, Time, and The Liquid Network

Where do great ideas come from?

Space. And, I’m being completely serious.

I’m not referring to space in the universe sense, but rather a physical space within the universe where great thoughts can flow through time and splashed around by people. This space may be at the local coffee shop, a backyard BBQ, an online forum, a shared studio or co-working space. The point is to just simply create an environment where a group of people can openly share their partial ideas with others in hopes to discover the whole idea—a liquid network.

A liquid network is made up of diverse individuals who listen closely, connect thoughts to previous experiences, learn from the trials and errors of others, share their own thoughts, opinions, and solutions. And, somewhere at some point a great new idea is conceived within this liquid network.

Steve Johnson, the author of Where Good Ideas Come From, firmly believes that great ideas aren’t conceived when one person has an ‘aha’ moment alone in a lab, studio, or library. They happen when people of diverse backgrounds come together to share their slow hunches with one another. And over time, each hunch or thought is creatively pieced together and the 1000 piece mystery puzzle now reveals a ________________.

This need for space is obvious and we’re seeing incubators crop up across the world. These spaces are dedicated to technology, education, business, social change, you name it and I’m sure there’s an incubator for it. And if there isn’t, you can start your own.

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