Everything is a remix

There's a myth that creativity is about having original ideas. The truth is that no ideas are original, and haven't been for thousands of years. Everything is a remix, as Kirby Ferguson tells us in his video series of the same name:

The act of creation is surrounded by a fog of myths. Myths that creativity comes via inspiration, that original creations break the mould, that they’re the products of geniuses, and appear as quickly as electricity can heat a filament. But creativity isn’t magic. It happens by applying ordinary tools of thought to existing materials ... We can’t introduce anything new until we’re fluent in the language of our domain ... These are the basic elements of creativity: Copy, transform, and combine.

Unless you copy someone else's idea pixel for pixel, without considering how that idea helps to solve your own problem, you shouldn't worry about copying others. Almost every invention in history took something else and built on it.

Functional fixedness is a problem → Back to the table of contents