David Gauntlett – Making is Connecting

Here’s a great talk by David Gauntlett outlining some of the ideas from his upcoming book – it’s 9 minutes long and well worth the time:

It’s a bit of a jolt to run across something that resonates so strongly with some of the ideas that we’ve been developing here. Look at his three reasons that making is connecting:

Making is connecting because you have to connect things together (materials, ideas, or both) to make something new.

Making is connecting because acts of creativity usually involve, at some point, a social dimension and connect us with other people.

And making is connecting because through making things and sharing them in the world we increase our engagement and connection with our social and physical environments.

He’s talking about the importance of connecting in personal creativity, but compare that to what I’ve been saying about the importance of connecting in business models:

… connection works in two related but distinct ways. The first is that we connect ideas to each other. This is the innovative act – as Schumpter said, “(Economic) development in our sense is then defined by the carrying out of new combinations”. This is where I put a lot of effort when I’m coming up with blog posts, with research papers, and even with ideas for consulting jobs. Making novel connections is a skill that I work hard to build.

The second way that connection works is that we connect ideas to people. This is the outbound side of Connection. I write about the idea connections that I make in my blog – as people read it, they start connecting with the ideas. I give as many public talks as I can – from last September until now I have given more than twice as many public talks as I had in the previous three years combined. In Canberra last week I had a talk with Geoff Garrett, who said “Innovations travel on two legs.” There’s something to be said for that idea – and I have a lot of discussions about my ideas face-to-face – it’s one of the most effective methods of outbound connection.

I continue to believe that connecting ideas is the fundamental creative act in innovation. It’s great to find others like Gauntlett that are a lot further along than I am in thinking about these things. I’m definitely looking forward to the book!

Student and teacher of innovation - University of Queensland Business School - links to academic papers, twitter, and so on can be found here.

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