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| Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Everything new under the sun...
In the book of Ecclesiastes from the Bible, King Solomon wrote: What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Solomon knew that when God created the heavens and the earth, He created all of the heavens and all of the earth. Every particle, atom, amoeba and molecule… Everything. And it’s true: since the beginning of creation, there has indeed been nothing new under the sun. For those of us who claim to be innovators and creative thinkers, that realization might seem a bit negative at first. But is it?
If you really pause to consider what that means, I think you’ll find that nothing new under the sun can be a great inspiration and motivator. Even the greatest creative thinker and innovator of our time, Steve Jobs, said that: “Creativity is just connecting things… When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something… they were able to connect past experiences to synthesize new things.”
Fact is, everything new under the sun has been created, discovered or invented by combining things, organizing things, reorganizing things or simply removing things that have always existed. The technology that allows our cell phones to locate the nearest gas station or forecast the weather in Uruguay 10 days from now is nothing short of mind-blowing, but the fact of the matter is everything that makes that technology work has always existed. Someone just figured out how to make it all come together.
Think about the music you listen to each day. There are no new notes -- just the new application of notes that have always existed.
When my dad “invented the chicken sandwich,” he didn’t do anything other than combine the right ingredients to make the perfect blend of flavors and spices. Now, it took a long time to get there, but patience, persistence, courage, faith and learning (and even failing over and over again) paid off in the end.
That’s what real innovation is all about. That’s what real leadership is about.
How can you make the most of "nothing new under the sun" today?