Where Good Ideas Come From


The title isn’t entirely accurate. This doesn’t cover where good ideas comes from, but rather what things prove conducive to generating ideas. These are summarised in seven patterns:

The adjacent possible

Essentially, that adjacent thoughts and technologies can spur ideas.

Liquid networks

That well-connected groups generate more ideas, by sharing and spurring each other on.

The slow hunch

That is to say, an idea that builds over time as parts are added to it, like a snowball going down hill.


Things falling into your lap.


Profiting from mistakes, if you recognise them.


Using ideas or technologies in new ways.


Having a system or workspace conducive to generating ideas, such as the Internet.

It was an interesting read, providing plenty of insights while trying to wrap some coherent structure around something that is so fleeting, but important.

It’s nice to see him try and break down the idea of the “lone genius” as well.

A very good read, and probably an essential one for those who work in industries or sectors that rely on ideas and developments.

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This was a copy of the book

Reviewed: 15th August 2018