Lone genius is not a thing

One time a friend of mine came up with this brilliant idea in a meeting. He told how he came up with the idea, why it will work and that we needed to act upon it. There was just one problem with this story – he got the idea one month ago from another friend. At that time he didn`t listen consciously and presented the idea as he came up with himself. He even came up with an elaborate story on how and when it came to him. This is not a lie; it`s just our misconception of how a great idea is formed.

Group genius VS Lone Genius

Keith Sawyer talks about this phenomenon in his book; Group Genius. We have this idea formed that makes us believe people like Albert Einstein was a genius by himself. The fact is that everything he came up with was a series of sparks created by many people before and during his time.



Even the first iPhone that is considered one of the most radical innovation in the 21st century is created by several smaller innovation. The GPS was created for the military, the camera was made ages ago and the touch screen is also old news. All these items were put together; Creating a massive innovation. It`s not to say that it wasn`t a genius move, because it was, but rather to point out the fact that everything you think is something done by a company or a person, is, in fact, several people and companies.


(Photo by James Martin / http://www.cnet.com)

When we are creating the innovation program for Young Sustainable Impact, we are collecting everything we can find from several geniuses. Keith Sawyer, Daniel Kahneman, Steve Jobs, Future Leaders, Partners like Startup Lab, our own experience and much more. It`s a whole bunch of sparks from several sources that will ultimately form an innovation program that will heighten the likelihood of startups succeeding.

Contributor: Didrik Strøhm
Role: COO and Innovation director at YSI
Mail: didrik@ysiglobal.com 

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