I’m reading a terrific book on the subject of innovation called The Medici Effect, by Frans Johansson, and I’ve already decided it’s the most important book I’ve read all year.
Johansson has studied innovation and developed a series of ideas to help us spur the process of coming up with new insights, inventions, concepts, business ideas, creative works of art and, well, innovations.
One of the ideas he suggests is very interesting to someone like myself, who is growing his freelance copywriter business by writing and publishing online articles.
Johansson states that the most successful innovators are those who produce large numbers of ideas. In any category, the big break through innovations that seem to leap over the existing body of knowledge, have come from people and teams who were incredibly prolific.
Pablo Picasso produced over 20,000 pieces of art; Einstein wrote more than 240 papers; Bach wrote a cantata every week; and Thomas Edison still holds the record of 1,039 patents.
But of course we all know that quantity does not equal quality. Right? Well actually the answer is yes and no.
About two-thirds of the work these prolific creators Johansson studied are, at the very best, forgettable. But with quantity comes a certain about of the highest quality.
Among scientists, the best way to predict who will win prestigious honors like the Nobel Prize, is the number of scientific papers that person has published.
Lance Winslow is a living legend among article-marketers. He currently has written an astounding 9,129 online articles, and he has written them all in less than three years.
Now I’m sure Lance would be the first to tell us that not all of his articles are brilliant. But by any objective standard, he has produced more articles that can justly wear the “brilliant” label than all the rest of us combined.
The lesson for all of us is to keep those pens moving, those fingers typing and the ideas flowing. If we want to make a big impact in our fields or our world, productivity is the surest way to come up with the largest number of great ideas.
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