The idea of originality is dead. It has been dead since the German Romanticists. Even exceptional achievements of the human intellect can be traced back to forerunners. Mind you, they do not get worse by this, but they are no longer original in the sense of the genius metaphor.
However, new ideas and solutions are always an option. Incidentally, they are just a function of time and effort. Talent is of secondary importance.
There is a nice guide towards the generation of ideas and creativity:
Come up with a new concept for connecting known elements.
And this is where our problems start. Let us take my favourite example: the efficient manager. By definition, he is a partial idiot. Since he has an obligation to “do the right thing”, he focuses on these things and uses a rail-cycle for pumping himself and his life towards the horizon in a straight line on a track built for him by others. This track always promises to take the shortest way, even if it is the wrong way.
If I want to make new connections with old elements, I have to look beyond the horizon of my profession. Because that is the only place where I can get inspiration for new connections. The efficient manager declares that he has no time for this; his efficient job burns him out. He does not wish to have time, because it is rather comfortable not having to come up with new ideas. As soon as you are lying on the hammock of intellectual certainty, life is over without much mental effort.
The German internet cannot be any better than the German work life. Roland published a reference to an FAZ article in twitter titled: In the internet, we are the Chinese. What is most unmasking about the article is the comments. They represent a brazen copycat mentality. The general agreement is: let us wait and see if what the Americans develop will be a success. Then we can collect money from VCs and copy their methods.
That is a very efficient position.
The copycat mentality of the German internet community did a thorough job replacing the genius mentality of the German Romanticists.
Who would have believed that the pragmatic Americans were going to take up the role of being the German Romanticists?
(Translated by EG)