The time I spend online reading other websites, blogs, and news is not wasted time, even though some people might view it as such.
I’m really looking for spare parts.
What I mean by that is I’m looking for ideas, tools, and concepts that I can combine with my own ideas, tools, and concepts to create the next BIG idea, tool, or concept.
In Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation, Steven Johnson writes that “good ideas want to connect, fuse, recombine”.
Johnson tells the story of the incubator, an invention that has helped millions of low-birth weight babies around the world survive the first few weeks and months of life and go on to live normal lives. He explains how the idea came about (someone saw a similar application outside of a healthcare setting), and how the idea continues to evolve (with incubators being built for hospitals in Third-World countries out of…wait for it…SPARE car parts).
Where’s My Tip came to be because of my practice of looking for spare parts. I combined my experience and knowledge of the web and e-commerce with a real life problem that many travelers face, to create one of the 9-Best Travel Related Businesses of 2010.
So the next time someone gives you a hard time about surfing the web, reading other blogs and websites, or even dabbling with creating your own sites or projects, just tell them you’re looking for spare parts.
Image credit: Spare Parts by pabloneco on Flickr