Is it possible to make lucky discoveries happen on purpose?
So many innovations are the result of luck. Post-it notes. Microwaves. X-rays. Viagra. Diabetes treatment. Around 50 percent of patents originated in a lucky discovery. Some people are luckier than others. They seem to have a knack for creating serendipity. Dr. Sandra Erdelez has studied serendipity. She divides people into three groups – those that stick to what they are doing with a tight focus; those that occasionally meander from what they are doing; and those who actively look around. The latter type are highly curious and see patterns as well as things that stand out. In fact, they’re practically addicted to discovery. I think I know what that feels like! It reminds me my Raining Ideas story. Have a look. What do you think? Should we support the creation of an interdisciplinary field, serendipity studies, to analyze and better understand the phenomenon as Pagan Kennedy suggests?
Picture: BRENDAN MONROE