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what according to you is an original idea?

Im sure most people here have had a lot of ideas and a lot of times what seem to be original ideas, are actually not, or are they?
several times i have come up with ideas that get me very excited only to later find out from 'google', that someone out there has already thought of it....

so what constitutes an original idea? and are mine original when infact someone else has thought of it before me?

someone, once said to me, that every idea is taken and most probably they have already started work on it....seems like its true...

is this a case of great minds think alike or at some subconcious level we are all copy-cats?

  • Sep 14 2011: I struggled with this as well in my graduate level Entrepreneurship: Creativity and Innovation class. We must come up with 5 New Ideas A Day. It seems like every idea I came across in my mind had already been created or conceptualized. As a matter of fact, I came across one of my "original" ideas in a TED Talks video on creativity already in the works. The ideas that I felt were truly original I wasn't even sure if they were possible to create or bring to market. But I think that is where a big barrier exists to creativity and innovation- worrying whether an idea is really brand new, whether it's feasible, or even whether or not it's good at all. An idea is original when it is created in your mind, being original to the rest of the world is irrelevant. It gets your mind working in a way that allows you to generate even more ideas. And if an amazing idea is already taken- take it a step further. How can it be better-what would you change- is the idea in your opinion, flawed and how so?
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    Aug 24 2011: An original idea is something that you act upon. Sure someone may have come up with it already, but you have the ability to add to that idea and make it more original. It is like building a lego structure: you put the main frame together (original thought, the core, the heart) then you continue to add more and more onto it until it is completed. But what is great about Lego is that you can continue to add on past the instruction manuel which means that everything that comes after what the instructions say is your own idea and your own way of making it original.
  • Sep 15 2011: an original idea is often so obvious that when you hear about it you slap your forehead and wonder: why didn't I think about that?!
    On the other hand I do believe that creation is a way of recycling older ideas, by mixing them, distorting them, interpreting them with one's own perspective. Times we live, education, personal experience, even mood, a lot of things come into account in the creative process. To me the artist works like a reversed prism, that will take in all the colors of the rainbow and merge them into a beam of white, original light.
    It's interesting here to play with both terms of "white light" and "original". Original goes back all the way to the origins...
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    Sep 14 2011: A truly original idea is often one that is very hard to convince others about or to sell. When the thinking is that forward, it takes people time to catch up to the thought processes.
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    Sep 9 2011: An original idea, is one you have. It doesn't matter if millions of others have had it before - when you have it, its original.
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    Sep 9 2011: An experienced teacher once told me that in education every "new and original" idea is something that has been recycled from years gone by. These "new and original" ideas are the same stuff with just a different name. It begs to question: Are original ideas simply just old ones with new names that someone is willing to pay millions of dollars to hear in a different manner than before?
  • Sep 6 2011: I write trainings for the mentally ill to get better and do no research, they are all my ideas thought up by me. Is this original thought or something I have copied from someone else? They all come from my own experience and I don't recall ever seeing tham before. I just sit and write.

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    Aug 24 2011: It is really astonishing when people have the same idea without in a different place!

    I consider Nate Thiessen´s metaphor a very interesting way to begin to cope with the question.

    And I propose to be loyal to Nate Thiessens´s IDEA and break his LEGO into pieces smaller than the ones avaiable in the market (which is already a kind of orginality), by the means of the following sequece of assumptions:

    1) PHYSICS is at the base of many phenomena, maybe of almost everything...
    2) CHEMISTRY is a kind of emergence of PHYSICS. Maybe all chemical phenomena should be explained by PHYSICS, but CHEMISTRY is an enrichment of that...
    3) LIFE and BIOLOGY are an emergence of ORGANIC CHEMISTRY...
    4) HUMAN LIFE follows some laws that are valid to other forms of LIFE... but it seems to be more than that, because of a refinements of the linguistic processes, by the existence of counsciousness, and many other real but abstract things related to...
    5) The world of information, which should even be explained by PHYSICS, CHEMISTRY etc, but is something more (or even less) than that! Information has a virtual existence! All of it are at our disposal, but only becomes real when someone see, feel, read, analyse or assimilate it!

    After this, let us take an example: SUN LIGHT is a PHYSICAL phenomen fundamental to life in many ways... SUN LIGHT might be also a piece of information for someone, say, a photografer... So, SUNLIGHT, oxigen athoms, molecules of water, and many other things are pieces of LEGO at our disposal for multiple uses. These inputs are being processed all time by human beings and might result in the emergence of an "ORIGINAL IDEA" in 2 individuals at different places!

    If an IDEA is new to someone, it is ORIGINAL to this person, notwithstanding if it was though of before by another person.

    Well, I think that Zayed Peshiman´s question may lead us to discover that the question in itself is the tip of an iceberg!
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    Aug 23 2011: An orignial idea stands alone in its theme, and has the ability to create ideas that traces back to the original
    • Aug 23 2011: sure but sometimes two or more people can come up with the same idea independently....and a third person who actually patents/ copyrights it often gets credit....
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        Aug 24 2011: Then call it an original idea that has already been thought of if you want to add people
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    Sep 23 2011: An original idea is one that captures one's own spirit and individuality. :) It's like a bunch of flowers put together: everyone will have a different concept about the outlook but the material and basis will still be the same.
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    Sep 6 2011: What's the need of pondering about the originality of an idea?
    More important is whether the idea is executable / implementable or not for the benefit of humankind.........