Where Do Good Ideas Come From - By Steven Johnson

    I recommend Steven Johnson's excellent book, "Where Good Ideas Come From." I recommend it to damn near everyone I come across. I find that telling people what is good about this book helps to reinforce the value in it for me. Everybody can use more good ideas, right? Well maybe. Maybe you are already full of good ideas, but it is the putting them into action that you need help with. This book is good for that too. 
    A lot of business books can communicate their main ideas simply by providing the table of contents. Once you have the idea, actually reading the book conveys no significant additional value. I said business books but this unfortunate fact holds true for other categories as well, life coaching books, productivity books, leadership books, and many other non-fiction books. 
    "Where Good Ideas Come From" is not that kind of book. I have found my appreciation of the materiel to grow deeper with each reading or listening. {yes it is on audible} Today, I want to share the table of contents with you and maybe a little more. My thoughts on the book in general. In subsequent days I'll tackle writing about each chapter and how it has helped me. At ten pages a day you can read it in a month. If you drive a lot you can finish it in less than a week on audible. Please don't confuse my simple thoughts with a substitute for purchasing the book. I want to get people discussing the ideas in Johnson's book. I want to hear your ideas once you've read a chapter. Maybe you'll have a different take on it. 
    I know what I think about the book. However, standing beside me is another mind that can generate different thoughts.  Imagine all the possible different thoughts that could be had about this book, just from a small group of people in one room. For example in a 1 Million Cups meeting on a Wednesday morning at 0900 in Fort Worth Texas. What would be possible if the ideas of the people in the adjacent room considered the same topic? For 1MC in FW, the adjacent possible is the Ensemble Co-Working space with lots of creative business minded folks.  So please read the book for yourself and develop your own thoughts.
    How about we each think our own thoughts but never share them with each other? That's obviously not why I'm writing this blog. People need to share ideas. The processes of transmission and reception help sharpen and clarify our own ideas. I want to encourage the ideas in this book to get networked among Veteran Entrepreneurs and everyone else. It would be nice if the language in this book were common currency in our culture. Not just among a small network, but like a liquid flowing among every network of which you're a member.
    I don't expect a brilliant flash across the nation where all of a sudden, everyone gets connected into the language of where good ideas come from and starts to build environments that encourage good ideas and that put good ideas into practice immediately. Probably things go much slower. A conversation here, a blog post over there, a book review at a reading group ... each conversation adds up over time. Some times the best things build slowly, connecting to each adjacent network possible over time.
    As predictable as that sounds, things like ideas rarely travel in strait lines. No matter how fluid the network, the growth is rarely a steady expansion in all directions. Dribs, dabs, drops, spurts, springs, and flows, all of these things happen before rivers are formed. Rivers do not flow in strait lines either. It takes time to carve the Grand Canyon, or to cut off a bad idea in an ox bow lake. The surface that water flows along varies and with each new type of terrain there may be a slight change of course. The route that awareness of a good book follows might be based less on marketing and more on serendipity.
    I'll stop here for now and simply share the table of contents. Go Read the Book! I'll look more deeply at individual chapters in the future. As always I'm interested in what you have to say on the topic. Feel free to reply.

Where Good Ideas Come From - by Steven Johnson

Introduction: Reef, City, Web
The Adjacent Possible
Liquid Networks
The Slow Hunch
Serendipity
Error
Exaptation
Platforms
Conclusion: The Forth Quadrant