I had been searching for that light bulb moment, that new idea or fresh perspective you expect after two days at a major advertising and tech conference. When I noticed there was a panel on serendipity and a discussion around whether you could engineer idea discovery, I was there.
I was drawn into the thought that serendipity is "more than blind luck, it's the product of lots of passion, insight, or proximity."
This was the view of internet pioneer John Perry Barlow. Barlow suggested that a key component of coming up with new ideas is to create a network of weak ties. He described situations where you may discover a new idea, but through your network you can find someone to help you with this and more importantly, pick the holes and suggest improvements.
That previous year, I had been collaborating with First Music Contact, Jim Carroll, the Dublin Web Summit and social ventures on a few different projects. I had been practicing this theory about weak ties - connecting up with people when and where we were needed.
For many, connecting through a network, collaborating and sharing ideas is alien. It is against the traditional industrial view that protecting your ideas will increase their value, that creating silos will make the idea more efficient and that only certain "experts" should work on the idea. At Agility, we believe in the network effect - the value of adding additional people to a group. I am excited to work with a diverse group of people who think differently to me about the best solutions but who ultimately believe in collaboration and the network effect.