Entrepreneurs and potential small business owners are faced with a difficult challenge in modern society: is it still possible to be entirely original with our thoughts and creations? Are we all just stealing, copying and borrowing or can we still sample others works and inspire new ideas?
Originality, by definition, is the ability to think independently and creatively or the quality of being novel or unusual. Well, that doesn’t seem too hard to accomplish, we think independently every day and certainly friends and family could vouch for the unusual qualities. Creativity is defined as the use of the imagination or original ideas. Can we even be confident our imagination is a true representation of personal creativity? You can get really in-depth and philosophical on this topic, but here is my take.
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Scientifically, we are all different. The genetic differences cannot be debated, and even with advancement in research it will never be said that two humans are exactly alike in every way genetically. Other main factors are our environment—the people by whom we’re surrounded and our life experiences. These may be very similar to your neighbor, but no two people have the exact same nature and nurture factors and also interpret them the same. Currently, the world is inhabited by over seven billion people. Instead of looking at this like originality is dead and everything has been done before, think instead about how much potential is in that number.
Out of all seven billion people, no two are alike. Even if you want to start a pizzeria (sure pizza was first documented in 997 AD), but does this mean you can’t create a pizzeria with your own, personal flair? Our ideas are just like our genetic makeup: different. It’s the differences that show our ability to be innovators and spread unique, novel creations.
You can make your own stamp in the world—it’s through our inspirations, sampling, borrowing and education that cultivates a base to build from. Maybe what you’re passionate about has been done before- but never by you. And is that not, in itself, proof originality is possible?