OUR IDEAS ARE MORE POWERFUL THAN YOUR IDEAS


Flying s o l o

Over the town (1918), Marc Chagall / Solo, Iyaz


Shared from flyartproductions

I'm a night owl. I typically spend my twilight hours in deep thought. Sometimes it's about work, other times it's about side projects, or the wedding. The question I keep asking myself, no matter what it is I'm thinking about, is the same: "What's the big idea?"

According to Joshua Wolf Shenk's new book (my current read), Powers of Two, the big idea may be me just getting out of my own head and finding my other creative half:

How do we account for the emergence of a good idea—the movement from chaos to clarity?

The dominant idea today is that, because creativity resides within the individual, we best expose it by telling stories of those rare geniuses—the ones who made the Sistine Chapel or Hamlet, the light bulb or the iPod. This model basically follows the declaration made by Thomas Carlyle in the 1840s: “The history of the world is but the biography of great men.”[...]

Fortunately, there’s a way to understand the social nature of creativity that is both true and useful. It’s the story of the creative pair.
— Joshua Wolf Shenk, "Powers of Two"

Shenk goes on to say that he found that there are a few types of creative pairs:

  1. Known: Creative pairs in which both become famous (Ex: John Lennon and Paul McCartney; Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak).
  2. Hidden: Where one partner becomes famous while the other fades into the background (Ex: Vincent Van Gogh's brother, Theo; Ronald Wayne, the third co-founder of Apple who bailed out early).
  3. Rivalries: Where your creative partner is also your competition, not necessarily directly working together, but pushing one another to excel (Ex: Ann Landers and Dear Abby; C. S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien).

So, will I be getting more sleep? Probably not. But, I could use a thinkin' buddy. Interested?