Chapter 4 – Serendipity

Have you ever stumbled across something in one realm of your life that inspired an insight in another realm? If not, you’re going to hate this section on Serendipity.

Serendipity: the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

The operating word here is “chance.” Things that happen by serendipity happen without planning. Johnson uses this chapter to say that chance is good for idea-creation. He advocates creating environments where serendipity is possible and likely, and he uses reproduction as an analogy for how random serendipitous mutations can lead to newer, better things (i.e. creatures or ideas).

In addition, Johnson muses on the nature of the world wide web, and how it can be very positive for serendipity, but also very negative in other ways. He also talks about how to organize for serendipity.

As always, I’ll summarize this content in the next few posts…