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Steven Johnson’s professional focus is broad, ranging from online political campaigns, urban planning and terrorism. His micro-research techniques give him a unique perspective on big-picture ideas. He offers interesting theories on the processes of big ideas. Johnson argues that the historic increase in connectivity has allowed for bigger and better ideas. In sharing ideas with others, we are running the creative engine of humanity.
Johnson outlines the root of a big idea, and follows the long process of developing a thought from an idea into success. He recognizes recurring patterns in the process of successful ideas from the past. Johnson argues that a big idea comes from a small hunch, rather than an epiphany. These small hunches incubate over time, and develop into more complex thoughts. These complex hunches then collide with another person’s hunch. This collision creates a breakthrough concept and in turn a successful idea.
With the breakdown of such high impact ideas, like the lightbulb, it allows for success to become more attainable. Risk is certain, failure is certain, but the process need not be overwhelming.