Scientists theorize that life on earth began as a series of molecules known as the ‘primordial soup’; which combined to form proteins, later forming the boundaries of cells - leading to the onset of human life on earth.
Some good ideas - such as life as we know it - are borne from biology.
Good ideas can develop through the ‘adjacent possible’.
Like a series of doors in a room, change and innovation can be ‘opened’ through the adjacent possible…ideas built upon on the present state of things. A biological example of this would be species, such as dinosaurs, evolving new bones to adapt to their environment, which ultimately led to wings and flight.
Although creative potential is unleashed through the ‘adjacent possible’, there is a finite number of prospects available. Think of it as the number of recipes available using only cake mix ingredients.
Big cities foster more exploration of the adjacent possible than towns or villages. A great example of this is the Renaissance… a period of tremendous artistic and scientific growth stemming from the great minds collaborating in Venice, Florence and Genoa, the largest cities in Italy at the time.
Good ideas come from many sources, have much in common and share similar traits and timelines. But the true key of invention lies back within Darwin’s Paradox: the ability to collaborate; as this is where ideas emerge, collide, and recombine…often to great success.