(*information obtained from the book “A More Beautiful Question”)
In coming up with fresh ideas, we do not have to invent from scratch; we can draw upon what already exists and use that as raw material. The key may lie in connecting those bits and pieces in a clever, unusual, and useful way, resulting in smart recombination’s (a term originated by john Thackara)
Smart recombination’s are all around us. Pandora, for example, is a combination of radio and search engine; it also takes the biological model of genetic coding and transfers it to the domain of music.
Smart recombination often takes ideas or influences from separate domains and mashes them together.
- Netflix | starting as a video-rental business and now has turned into a tv production studio.
- Airbnb | combination of an online travel agency, a social media platform and a good old-fashioned bed-and-breakfast
Nowadays, “the creative act is no longer about building something out of nothing but rather building something new out of cultural products that already exist” (Wired Magazine)
Smart recombination’s are inspired in all sorts of ways. Sometimes they are the result of cold calculation such as how can we combine this moneymaking thing with this moneymaking thing to make even more money? How could we combine these two things to serve our customers better?