Adjacent Possible

Often, when an innovation is created for a specific purpose, it becomes universal via the adjacent possible. The Internet was originally developed to help scientists communicate after the nukes were dropped. Much of our day to day technology (GPS, cell phones, etc.) is from the space program.

With ideas themselves, what’s happening in one spot can spawn many ideas and inventions in other minds. It is one of the greatest forces that make our ever quickening advances in technology occur.

Here is Matt Ridley on “When Ideas have Sex”:

Here are some great examples of what the Space Technology has done for Automotive Technology and Beyond:

The Ten Coolest Car Technologies From Space Exploration The aerospace and aeronautic fields use some of the most insanely futuristic technologies known to man. Thankfully, some of those technologies go perfectly hand in hand with car tech. These are the ten coolest space tech that have trickled down into the world of cars.

As technology spreads out this eventually becomes exponential as these cross purpose innovations start stacking up. Some things are meant to be universal, but many other successful innovations are merely copied from one technology sector to another. Either way, innovation accelerates all around us.

The Origins of Good Ideas – WSJ Innovation isn’t about magic insight. It’s about connecting odds and ends. An excerpt from Steven Johnson’s “Where Good Ideas Come From.”


We hear a lot about self-navigating cars. Most innovation in software and hardware for cars will be able to be modified for boats, lawn mowers, drones, robots and whatever else moves around. Often it is not a direct copy, but many innovations for purpose create opportunities in other sectors.

Want to fix a problem in one area? Check out what is happening in other areas, related or not.

That is the adjacent possible. Seeing what solved problems in one industry and looking for how the same kind of thing might do something elsewhere.