I remember getting into the car when I was younger, and finding my dad had been listing to talk radio and I thought WHAT? NO MUSIC? I will never listen to talk radio!

Fast forward many, many years and on the rare occasion that I have time in the car alone, I often find that I tune into NPR. A few weeks ago, I stumbled on their ‘What is Original’ series. They were speaking with Steven Johnson, author of “Where do good ideas come from?” playing snippets of his TED talk and discussing inventions that were created from building on others ideas.

I was so drawn in! Johnson talked about how creative problems stem from thinking we need to create something wholly original, and he argues it is more productive to combine things or ideas to make something that is truly incredible.

Johnson outlines examples of successful ideas that were born from collaborations or built on models from industries that were very different than the intended purpose.

One that I could easily relate to was his narrative on how Apple created their insanely popular retail stores. (I am an Apple product junkie-I’ve got the computer, phone, iPad and watch to support that claim, what can I say? I am a Wild Web Woman!) When they were exploring the retail store market, the “obvious” place for them to turn for inspiration were other big name retail stores. Apple thought outside the box, opting instead to research high end hotels, which was still customer centric and provided great service. If you have been into an Apple store, it isn’t hard to see the correlation between a helpful hotel concierge and the incredible service you get at Apple’s retail stores and their genius bar. Their gamble paid off and their stores offer a wonderful retail experience that is very different than most other retail stores.

I enjoyed all of his stories of invention and the paths they followed to get there and I was struck at how we, as women, sometimes feel that in order to have a successful business, we need to create something new. Alternately, we might think, if someone is already doing it, then the market might be saturated and we might not be able to make our mark in our desired field.

All the self doubt is RUBBISH… you can make a difference and you can do something better than the next person.

We each have our unique view of business and your original slant on things very well could be the thing that elevates your business.

I challenge us, as women, to collaborate! Let’s create, copy, tweak and improve on other’s ideas. It is only through innovation that we become great. WWW was born out of the idea to help other women be great! So we share our ups and downs, our mistakes and our successes, so you can learn, grow, create and BE GREAT!

Click here to watch Steven Johnson’s Where Good Ideas Come From TED Talk

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