To think of good ideas, you need to generate lots and lots of bad ideas. To see evidence of this theory in action, you need to look no further than Mother Nature. Since coming up with her first idea several billion years ago, Mother Nature has been an idea-generating machine. Dinosaurs with feathers? Check. Mammals with a duck bill? Check. Flying mammals? Check. It seems she’s thought of almost everything in the last 3.8 billion years. When you consider scientists estimate between 90-99% of everything Mother Nature has created has gone extinct, she’s no stranger to coming up with bad ideas. And that’s just animals that made it far enough to become a species, imagine how many bad ideas she had that never survived past one failed genetic mutation.
So why is Mother Nature the undisputed Queen of Creativity? Because she never stopped trying. A success rate less than 1% never stopped her. Five mass extinctions never stopped her. As much as we like to consider of ourselves as Mother Nature’s grandest and most perfect creative idea, she’s still hard at work. So when you hit a roadblock or watch an idea fail spectacularly, think about Mother Nature. Creativity is a tough business. You need to be willing to fail before you can ever succeed.