In this web series Everything is a Remix Kirby Ferguson argues, “creativity isn’t magic. It happens by applying ordinary tools of thought to existing materials.” How?

  • Copy: No one starts out original. We cannot create anything new until we have a solid foundation of knowledge and understanding in our line of work. Copying is how we learn.
  • Transform: Taking an idea and creating variations. Major advances are usually not original ideas, but the breaking point in a long history of progress by many different individuals.
  • Combine: The most dramatic results happen when various ideas are combined together. By connecting ideas together, creative leaps can be made.

Creativity has always been built upon the previous work of others. Thomas Edison did not invent the first light bulb – his patent was on “Improvement in Electric Lamps”. Through transformation, he ran 6,000 filament variations to create a bulb that was commercially viable. Apple didn’t invent the first desktop computer. Through combination, they connected Xerox’s graphical interface with the idea of a computer as a household appliance. As Ferguson urges in his TED Talk, “embrace the remix”.

Previously: See our interview with Kirby Ferguson — Talent Is Persistence: What It Takes To Be An Independent Creative

  • http://www.scoop.it/t/innovation-experts-insights/p/4019353169/2014/04/10/copy-transform-and-combine-where-ideas-come-from Copy, Transform, and Combine: Where Ideas Come ...

    […] In this web series Everything is a Remix Kirby Ferguson argues, “creativity isn’t magic. It happens by applying ordinary tools of thought to existing materials.” How?  […]

  • http://www.scoop.it/t/daily-clippings/p/4019359389/2014/04/10/copy-transform-and-combine-where-ideas-come-from Copy, Transform, and Combine: Where Ideas Come ...

    […] In this web series Everything is a Remix Kirby Ferguson argues, “creativity isn’t magic. It happens by applying ordinary tools of thought to existing materials.” How? Copy: No one starts out original.  […]

  • http://techbait.net/the-three-key-steps-to-creativity-copy-transform-and-combine/ The Three Key Steps to Creativity: Copy, Transform, and Combine | Techbait Tech News

    […] Kirby Ferguson: Embracing the remix | via 99u […]

  • http://nextculturenetwork.com/2014/04/10/is-copying-the-key-to-creativity/ Is Copying the Key to Creativity? | nextculture

    […] Here is the posting that is copied from a reposting: 99u […]

  • http://www.itclips.net/2014/04/10/the-three-key-steps-to-creativity-copy-transform-and-combine/ The Three Key Steps to Creativity: Copy, Transform, and Combine - IT Clips

    […] Kirby Ferguson: Embracing the remix | via 99u […]

  • http://jbarragan.com Jonathan Barragan

    Copy, Transform, Combine, so short and simple, yet sound advice for budding creatives. Fun and quick read!

  • Ioana Pelehatăi

    Great points, great read & pretty much what we’re arguing for, in our upcoming web series on copyright: http://igg.me/at/copyme/x/6556038 (We’re fans of Everything Is a Remix, too).

  • Bret3

    No, sorry, that guy’s argument is all wrong. It’s perfectly fine advice to be inspired by things around you, and I even think remixes are a form of creativity. His argument falls down when he suggests that creative people do nothing except copy other people’s previous work and when he suggests the elimination of intellectual property.

  • http://lindsaytrinkle.com/2014/04/14/robots-gratitude-and-how-to-start-your-morning/ Robots, gratitude, and how to start your morning.

    […] Copy, Transform, and Combine: Where Ideas Come From by 99U / Kirby Ferguson: I love this TED Talk by Kirby Ferguson and his ideas about creativity. I think every creative, artist, and entrepreneur would benefit from embracing the remix. […]

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    replicas camisetas futbol

    I could not refrain from commenting. Very well written!|

  • http://iampariah.com/finds/the-week-in-design-top-articles-roundup-6-may-2014.php The Week in Design - Top Articles RoundUp 6 May 2014 | Pariah Burke

    […] Copy, Transform, and Combine: Where Ideas Come From […]

  • http://iliyanastareva.com/storytelling-must-haves-the-art-of-innovation-and-staying-creative/ Storytelling Must-Haves: The Art of Innovation and Staying Creative | Iliyana's Blog

    […] ideas aren’t magic without ground. They have always been build upon previous good ideas. As Kirby Ferguson puts it, creativity “happens by applying ordinary tools of thought to existing materials.” Those […]

  • http://vooving.com/here-is-your-official-permission-to-be-a-copycat/ Here is Your Official Permission to Be a Copycat - User impire

    […] Aeon, Kat McGowan reveals research that suggests copying others’ work isn’t only undeserving of its reputation as a professional cardinal sin, […]

  • http://theinvisiblementor.com/how-to-combine-ideas-to-innovate/ How to Combine Ideas to Innovate

    […] I could improve the Reading Matrix to better combine ideas. On 99U’s website, they write, “Copy, Transform, and Combine: Where Ideas Come From,” which is based on Kirby Ferguson’s TED Talk. For centuries, we have been standing on the […]

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