Two Is the Magic Number: A New Science of Creativity

Behold! The Power of Collaboration!

A though-provoking essay by Joshua Wolf Shenk about the nature of creativity and collaboration, and the myth of the individual creator. From Slate:

What makes creative relationships work? How do two people—who may be perfectly capable and talented on their own—explode into innovation, discovery, and brilliance when working together? These may seem to be obvious questions. Collaboration yields so much of what is novel, useful, and beautiful that it’s natural to try to understand it. Yet looking at achievement through relationships is a new, and even radical, idea. For hundreds of years, science and culture have focused on the self. We talk of self-expression, self-realization. Popular culture celebrates the hero. Schools test intelligence and learning through solo exams. Biographies shape our view of history.

The shift in understanding creativity is well underway. The stereotypes of miraculous breakthrough moments—and the incessant drive to locate them in the head of epic individuals—are slowly yielding to a portrait of complex, meandering, inherently social paths toward innovation. Notable pioneers of this thinking include the psychologists Keith Sawyer and Vera John-Steiner and the popular writers Steven Johnson, author of the forthcoming Where Good Ideas Come From and my brother, David Shenk (it’s true, not just sibling love), with The Genius in All of Us.

Join 4,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

Learn “How Computers Work” with Bill Gates, Ladyada and more – From Code.org !

CircuitPython in 2018 – Python on Microcontrollers is here!

Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/

Maker Business — Prototyping PCBs with Particle, a guide from a pro in the field #makerbusiness

Wearables — Learn about stretch

Electronics — Even lower power!

Biohacking — Nectome’s Brain Preservation and Backup Service Plan

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !


  1. I love this! My and my brother always bounce ideas and we always work better as a team.

    Thanks John!

  2. Ha! Cold medications don’t make for good proofreading before posting. Wish you had a edit button.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.