There is no such thing as a unique and new idea. For example, let us say you have an “eureka moment.” You have a feeling that you are on the verge of a new discovery and you think that you are really on to something. In a couple of days or weeks you explain your wonderful plan to some friends. “That’s great! I’ve heard they are already making it in San Francisco.” “Oh, yes, actually there’s a similar project here and my cousin is in charge of it.” Sounds familiar?
If we study the history, we learn that there is more than just one person behind an invention. Inventions are always a collage of different contributions from different people, groups or teams. For example, Gutenberg is known as the inventor of mechanical movable type printing. The truth is that the world’s first (known) printing system was created in China around 1040 AD, almost 400 years before Gutenberg was even born. What Gutenberg actually did were some (very important) improvements to the machine and helped start the Printing Revolution. Moreover, he was born on the other side of the planet than the Chinese inventors, where the language does not have as many characters as in China and so such printing systems could become useful.
This does not take power or credits from creative people who are always searching for solutions and are trying to improve things. It does not mean that their ideas are not important or that they are not creative just because someone on the other side of the planet is thinking, inventing and creating similar things. It just means that it is wise to do your homework and do a little research on what has already been done.
Why ponder a problem that has already been solved? Why double your work, if a part of your project has already been done, and you can build on previous results? In the end you are just wasting your time and energy on work that has already been done.
Building on previous inventions and ideas does not mean that you are stealing them. This process is called improvement and it has been happening throughout our entire history. We do not have to give up our own ideas, but rather do what is senseful to do. It is difficult to be informed about everything that is going on in our world.
Today we are flooded with information from all sides, but guess what. No one has to know everything! You just have to be surrounded by people with different backgrounds and interests, and share your thoughts and ideas with them. How do we do that? Does a place with such purpose already exist?
Yes, it does. Such places are called co-working spaces. Every year more and more of them are created around the globe, because they are perfect for young entrepreneurs and inventors. Through brainstorming with people at such places, you can develop your ideas and even get partners to cooperate with. And do not forget about motivation. Sometimes we need someone to give us wings. Being in touch with inspirational people, helps you to develop your ideas and to have a better chance at making them a reality.
Do not be scared. With sharing everyone gains. You, people around you, and maybe even the society.