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Scott Miller Appsguild - Software craftsmanship, project management, and the biz of software
In my previous post, I was focused on making One Game per Month. Well, that only works if you continue to work on it. I, on the other hand, got distracted on doing something else. Which is a problem, because when it stops being fun and I'm in the bowels of coding and debugging, it seems more like work.

This brought to my mind the nature of epiphany. We all want to get that lightning bolt from the sky that gives us the great idea. In fact, epiphany used to mean that you got the idea from God.

I am reading The Myths of Innovation, by Scott Berkun. In the book, he covers the myth of epiphany, that great ideas seldom come as epiphanies, unlike the story of an apple dropping on Newton's head yielding insight into gravity, which is likely a myth of story anyway (the apple, not gravity...).

Instead, ideas come *surprise* through hard work, practice, and failure. Often what is attributed as a true epiphany is really the ability to put two disparate thoughts together, noticing the possible connection. Discovering penicillin through mold could be an example.

I have a book on song writing and lyric writing that basically says that you only get better through practice and working at it. Getting that flash of a great song idea doesn't happen very often, which is also why most of the songs on the radio sound the same, because it is easier, and yea even advisable, to follow a formula.

Berkun's book on Innovation also has a funny story of a group of business people touring Google, and marveling at the amount of toys, games, bean bag chairs, etc. And they wondered how anyone can get that next great idea if the staff is sitting around in bean bag chairs playing games and talking to each other. :)

Posted on Monday, June 23, 2008 9:43 PM | Back to top

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