What the web means for the future of creative thinking

In 1879 Karl Benz was awarded a patent for an automobile engine first designed the year prior. That invention shaped much of what was to come. With the ability to now travel further and faster, the world changed.

1903, the Wright Brothers flew their Wright Flyer I successfully. That was three seconds that shaped the future of the world as well.

Then in 1990 a computer to computer system was born and dubbed The World Wide Web. Today we’re living through the impact of it.

It’s an amazing time. While cliche to say, it sounds so because it’s true. Particularly for creativity and innovation.

Today we have access to unimaginable amounts of information at our literal fingertips. If you’re stuck on a project, a thousand answers are two clicks of a mouse or two taps of a finger away. And if you’re a creative worker – an artist or musician, a scientist or inventor – your work has a much further reach than ever before in history.

Creative thinking – like most everything else in the world – is changing. Exactly how?

There is no knowledge gap anymore, for one. Powerful ideas require pre-existing ideas to already have been developed, and those who have access to those ideas are more likely to yield new concepts.

Suddenly, with the web, it’s not only scientists or inventors who have access to everything they need in order to move the world forward, envision solutions, and turn their imagination into something tangible.

Creativity, in a sense, is everyone’s game now. We’re all capable of doing much more with our ideas than almost any other group of people any other time in history. If you can think it up, you can make it happen.

Today, our ideas have more of a reach than ever before too.

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Think about this. It’s not enough to merely shareyour ideas or invention or cure or crazy concept with just a small group of people anymore. Your family and friends and distant cousins used to be all you could reach with your ideas years ago, but today: if you’re not influencing hundreds or thousands (or even hundreds of thousands) of people, you’re missing out on an opportunity. No excuses, the world is out there waiting to hear what you have to say and see what you can create.

Because of this: your ideas weigh heavier than they used to as well.

More people are having bigger ideas, but we’re having bigger failures too (which, for the record, failure is almost always a good option). Everything is in the spotlight because it’s all out in the open. Our ability to reach the world is only shadowed by the world’s ability to reach us in return.

We are all playing with creativity!

Is it really any surprise that “creativity” became a buzzword in 2012? It shouldn’t.

I’ll say it again: creativity is, today, something that involves all of us and impacts all of us equally.

So what comes next? If we’re all granted access to the same information, and we’re all capable of impacting countless lives with our ideas, and the rate at which we create things and solve problems continues to accelerate, what are we to do?

In my opinion: do more, and start now. You’ve got everything you need to do something amazing. Big or small, it’s all there in front of you and only crowding around you more and more.

So get started. We’re all waiting.