There is no such thing as a truly original idea.

No, I am not saying that to discourage you being creative.

Instead, it is important to understand that every idea is built upon and adapted from something that came before.

All ideas are a new combination of previous knowledge.

But each time you make a new combination, you can tweak, adapt or transform the previous version as well.

Some combinations and tweaks are smaller, more iterative and convergent.

For example, have a look at this set of examples of how famous logos evolved over time. Each step was an iteration, a change to the previous version but still incorporating aspects of the previous version:

Logo Evolution. Copyright Publitech

Logo Evolution. Copyright Publitech

Sometimes, these combinations iterations may even be happening in your subconscious while you are not even aware of them.

As a result, when your brain finally combines them in a new way and it comes to your consciousness, it may feel like a Eureka moment where a completely new and original idea comes to you.

However, what happened in the background is the same series of combinations, building blocks, tweaks and iterations.

Every new idea is a remix of what came before.

Did you know that scientific evidence shows your creativity decreases over time

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Creativity & Innovation expert: I help individuals and companies build their creativity and innovation capabilities, so you can develop the next breakthrough idea which customers love. Chief Editor of and Founder / CEO of Improvides Innovation Consulting. Coach / Speaker / Author / TEDx Speaker / Voted as one of the most influential innovation bloggers.