The human race is a complex mix of people where no two people are exactly the same. Everyone’s brains have a different way of viewing and thinking about something. If we mix these different thoughts and viewpoints by forming large groups available for discussion, we can come up with something so much greater. Great ideas are a collaboration of good and bad ideas. Apple Computer was a small business started by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976 out of a small garage. They were very successful until the 1990’s when competition really stepped up and they saw a decrease in sales. In 2001 they introduced the IPod and have been successful since. This company is what he know as Apple Inc. This is a company that is now worth more than Exxon Mobil or Wal-Mart and has over 46,000 employees.
This company would not be as successful as it is without the collaboration of Jobs and Wozniak’s ideas. They also had the help of society. By listening to their ideas and taking note of what they want, Apple is able to create top of line products. So while Apple products began with only two young boys with a dream, they have become successful with the help of hundreds of different ideas. Collaboration is the act of joining together to make possible that which cannot be accomplished alone. There are many ways collaborating can be done.
There are, however, a few important steps you should keep in mind when creating a collaboration group. Have a clear goal in mind: Everyone in the group should know what they are collaborating ideas for. The idea of collaboration is to come up with something that you could not come up with alone and in order to do this people need to be involved and believe the goal is worthwhile. A goal can be anything you want to work towards. An example of one Apple would have is “how can they make their IPod’s more desirable to the public.” Create teams: Within the group you should create smaller teams that are working on a certain aspect of your goal. Apple may have teams that focus one aspect of their product such as the design. Establish a communication system: Group members should be able to share their ideas in a comfortable environment. Also create ways to document the shared ideas. You will want to have the discussions documented and the best way to do this is to assign someone as the designated “note taker.” Seek Consensus: These group members are only humans and they will disagree.
When conflicts arise take a consensus on the whole group to try and find a solution. In the novel The Anti-Education Era by James Paul Gee, he discusses Affinity Spaces. These are groups that people can join by choice online. People join these groups because of a shared interest. In these groups experts and amateurs share their knowledge on a common topic. Because the groups are on the internet, people are able to share their thoughts and ideas freely without facing discrimination. While America has come very far in defeating discrimination, it is still a large part of our society. These Affinity Spaces are a great way to get ideas out without the discrimination because someone can create an anon that looks nothing like their true self. Also in Affinity Spaces the leadership roles can vary. Just because someone is older doesn’t mean they are more experienced in a given topic so the more experienced person can in fact be much younger than another member.
These spaces are a prime example of how pushing aside your differences and stereotypes can help you learn so much and create something so much bigger than yourself. Complex ideas are a mixture of other ideas. Someone doesn’t come up with one idea and that is the final thought. Collaborating ideas can be tricky but by following the right procedure and by working with other people without judgment and discrimination you are more likely to come up with that perfect idea. Great ideas are a collaboration of good and bad ideas.