We had been told by patent holders, mostly large companies, that intellectual property rights encourage innovation. Copyright has been extended from 14 years to up to 70 years. Competition is said to accelerate creativity. Do these ideas serve innovation or shared greed?
Innovation is like a positive virus, the more an idea distributes more likelihood of living and flourishing. If it lives, multiplies and mutes becomes more interesting things and more mistakes. The path to innovation is bound by mistakes. The best ideas, according to Johnson, come from Adjacent Possible, from the edge of what is now possible, not from a giant leap forward.
As an artist, I know that the creation is repeated, it is based on a lot of releases, ever-changing and constantly informed by the creative work of others. The art of raising art. If you try to create art in a vacuum, you can get results, but you'll get better if you learn art history, share ideas, technology, or criticism with others. The more we are, we are more likely to influence more interesting ideas and to see the big picture. Integration does not work very well to distribute ideas.
We have this romantic idea that innovation is the child of singular genius, that some get an almost magical gift to have aha Instant – it makes a better story. Steven Johnson in his new book, As a good idea comes from : The Natural History Museum of Innovation tells us that innovation is more likely to come from a network of people who work in nature than from one person who earns a profit. We certainly have singular geniuses among us, but they are the exception, not the rule.
The reason why people work together for the love of innovation work in a higher proportion is that they focus more on innovation than making money. Copyright, patents and common security act as barriers to creativity to protect wealth. Johnson does not oppose intellectual property rights, just recognizes that they can prevent spreading new ideas. Building walls around innovation is like keeping some serum contagious disease. It holds ideas to spread.
More innovation has come from informal discussions with cafes than celebration festivals. As Johnson says, "All the patterns of innovation we've seen in previous sections … do the best in an open environment, where ideas flow into irregular channels."