Birth of an Idea

This list by Seth Godin does a great job of capturing the birth of ideas. How do we set up our schools to let ideas be born?


Ideas don't come from watching television

Ideas sometimes come from listening to a lecture

Ideas often come while reading a book

Good ideas come from bad ideas, but only if there are enough of them

Ideas hate conference rooms, particularly conference rooms where there is a history of criticism, personal attacks or boredom

Ideas occur when dissimilar universes collide

Ideas often strive to meet expectations. If people expect them to appear, they do

Ideas fear experts, but they adore beginner's mind. A little awareness is a good thing

Ideas come in spurts, until you get frightened. Willie Nelson wrote three of his biggest hits in one week

Ideas come from trouble

Ideas come from our ego, and they do their best when they're generous and selfless

Ideas come from nature

Sometimes ideas come from fear (usually in movies) but often they come from confidence

Useful ideas come from being awake, alert enough to actually notice

Though sometimes ideas sneak in when we're asleep and too numb to be afraid

Ideas come out of the corner of the eye, or in the shower, when we're not trying

Mediocre ideas enjoy copying what happens to be working right this minute

Bigger ideas leapfrog the mediocre ones

Ideas don't need a passport, and often cross borders (of all kinds) with impunity

An idea must come from somewhere, because if it merely stays where it is and doesn't join us here, it's hidden. And hidden ideas don't ship, have no influence, no intersection with the market. They die, alone.