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Where Do Good Ideas Come From

569 words - 3 pages

Summarizing a Video and Citing Sources
GS 1145 Strategies for the Technical Professional

October 13, 2014

The narrator Steven Johnson in the video “Where Good Ideas Come From” identifies several relevant situations (patterns) that he believes led to unusual levels of innovation or creativity. The introduction defines that Johnson looked for a shared/signature behavior or recurring patterns of innovations from the history of first cities to the biodiversity of coral reefs and rainforests. He said that these environments involved unusual levels of innovation.
Through Johnson’s research and his quest for where good ideas are formulated, he mentioned certain moments of inspirations such as: a flash of insight, stroke of insight, epiphany, eureka, and lightbulb moments. However, he said that these moments share the basic assumption that an idea is a single thing. ...view middle of the document...

Another example he used with regards to a work group situation: instead of having a “eureka moment” in a science lab looking through a microscope or standing at the watercooler…ideas generally came together when the information was shared at the conference room table. There was this real sense of bouncing ideas off each other or I would say a melding of the minds.
The Slow Hunch: This suggests that ideas are developed during long incubation periods. Also that ideas linger for decades that can’t quite be solved. Basically, thoughts would have to stew over time.
Connecting vs. Protecting Ideas: Johnson recognizes that companies should build workspaces that can lead to innovation. People take ideas from other people, learn from other people or run into to someone to help create an idea. In the video, the company Google is mentioned for providing innovation time off and this led to hunch development. For example, one employee develops a hunch and another develops a hunch and together this can lead to a relevant idea or creation. Johnson mentioned, more often than not we have the tendency to protect what we know or spend extensive time with research and development in a lab. However he said, in essence we should spend equally the same amount of time connecting with others to make ideas happen.
In the final analysis, the overall premise and relevance for this video is that ideas are formulated by “slow hunches”. There were breakthroughs in the media like the “world wide web” and other great ideas that came by the way of “slow hunches”. Good ideas take time to cultivate and connecting with other people with similar interest furthers the development of ideas sparking new inventions/innovations.

Work Cited

Johnson, S. (2010, September 21). Steven Johnson: Where good ideas come from. YouTube. Retrieved October 6, 2014, from

Economist. (2013, April 8). Steven Johnson: where good ideas come from. YouTube. Retrieved October 12, 2014, from

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