What do ballpoint pens and roll-on deodorant have in common? Would you believe one inspired the other? The amateur inventor of roll-on deodorant saw how the newly-invented (1940’s) Biro pen delivered an even flow of ink, and adapted the idea to create an even flow of liquid deodorant. The ball deodorant went on to revolutionize its industry, even though the genesis of the idea came from a completely different sector.
Pablo Picasso is often quoted as saying, “Bad artists copy, good artists steal.” A bad artist sees another artist’s style and then tries to emulate it. A good artist selects elements from another artist’s work and incorporates it into his own unique mix of influences. Apple, Google and George Lucas each developed innovative modern-day products: the iPad, an amazing search engine, Star Wars. Yet each of these creative ideas was developed from other sources that, imaginatively combined, created something uniquely different.
I’ve shared how my idea for The Bronze Dagger came from visiting an antiquities shop that sold ancient coins, jewelry and, what became my muse, an ancient Luristan bronze dagger. What’s your muse?