Where Do Good Ideas Come From?

Last Updated Sep 29, 2010 7:35 AM EDT

Everyone who has ever sat beating their head against a computer screen (or staring at a blank sheet of paper) waiting for inspiration has wondered the same thing -- where do ideas come from and how can I get my hands on some?

Author Steven Johnson decided to tackle the question with five years of research. The result is his upcoming book Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation, which is out on October 5th. To lure you to the book store to buy it and provide a preview of his conclusions, Johnson has released a fabulously put together four-minute video that's doing the rounds of the internet (HT to Kottke). It's worth watching both for its ideas about the source of inspiration (don't hope for instant salvation if you're desperately in need of a "Eureka!" moment this afternoon) and as an example of a promotional effort that's gone viral (without resorting to puppies).

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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.