The October 2010 issue of Wired Magazine had and interesting article titled Where Ideas Come From.  These excerpts struck me in particular:

KELLY: The musician Brian Eno invented a wonderful word to describe this phenomenon: scenius.  We normally think of innovators as independent geniuses, but Eno’s point is that innovation comes from social scenes, from passionate and connected groups of people.

KELLY: Really, we should think of ideas as connections, in our brains among people.  Ideas aren’t self-contained things; they’re more like ecologies and networks.  They travel in clusters.

KELLY: In part, that’s because ideas that leap too far ahead are almost never implemented–they aren’t even valuable.  People can absorb only one advance, one small hop, at a time.

KELLY: I think there are a lot of ideas today that are ahead of their time.  Human cloning, autopilot ars, patent-free law–all are close technically but too many steps ahead culturally.  Innovation is about more than just having the idea yourself; you also have to bring everyone else to where your idea is.  And that becomes difficult if you’re too many steps ahead.

KELLY: This is a big theme in your book, too–the idea that the most creative environments allow for repeated failure.

KELLY: Ten years ago, I was arguing that the problem with TV was that there wasn’t enough bad TV.  Making TV was so expensive that accountants prevented it from becoming really crappy–or really great.  It was all mediocre.  But that was before YouTube.  Now there is great TV!

KELLY: To create something great, you need the means to make a lot of really bad crap.

This got me to thinking about what works and what doesn’t in the Fedora community.  It really does seem that for all the “big-bang” changes discussed on the mailing lists–very few are implemented outright–most of the lasting changes are incremental and happen over time.

Also interesting that innovation often comes from passionate and connected groups of people.  How much innovation are we missing out on in Fedora if it is not as connected as it could be?

Image by The Sierra Club via flickr used under a Creative Commons license.