Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Creativity Quote of the Day: the World Wide Web.

In preparation for The Greatest Innovations of Silicon Valley course (BUS 117, Stanford University CSP, Fall '13), I'm re-reading Weaving the Web, by Tim Berners-Lee et al (Harper. 2000). Here's what he had to say about the process of invention:
Journalists have always asked me what the crucial idea was, or what the singular event was, that allowed the Web to exist one day when it hadn’t the day before. They are frustrated when I tell them there was no “Eureka!” moment . . . Inventing the World Wide Web involved my growing realization that there was a power in arranging ideas in an unconstrained, weblike way. And that awareness came to me through precisely that kind of process. The Web arose as the answer to an open challenge, through the swirling together of influences, ideas, and realizations from many sides, until, by the wondrous offices of the human mind, a new concept jelled. It was a process of accretion, not the linear solving of one problem after another.
This is very similar to the events that resulted in Edison's "invention of the light bulb." There's no historical evidence that the famous "light bulb moment" occurred in his head. Instead, it was a steady progress toward finding a suitable light bulb filament.

Another major invention process that followed the "no eureka moment" pattern was the Integrated Circuit (Robert Noyce, 1959).

tags: creativity, quote, invention

No comments: