cheeky! conceptual! - an article about "everything is a remix" and "steal like an artist" that steals and remixes the first para of my critique of recreativity in Slate from a few years ago - and applies it to the world of business and commerce, inventions, copyrights, patents and what not:
"There’s a certain pleasure to be derived from swagger jacking an article about copying whilst writing about lack of originality – something we are taught is wrong from an early age. Whether or not copying is wrong per se depends an awful lot on how you view originality. One common argument is that there is no originality, as every new idea or expression is the sum of other influences. In other words, a remix of ideas that have been copied, transformed and combined to create something new. For hard-core fans of originality, this point of view is a shame to say the least, as it denies the possibility of a truly new idea. That being said, in taking a closer look at businesses and their products, everything seems to have been inspired by something.
"The fashion industry is one such example and is successful precisely because of copying, transforming and adapting ideas. As Ralph Lauren told Oprah Winfrey in 2011 upon being asked how he reinvents himself: “Forty-five years of copying; that’s why I’m here.” Fashion depends on the copying of good ideas, as that is what creates a trend. And trends sell. In business, more often than not, commercial success overrules the need to seem original.
"In the fashion industry, it is easy to reuse ideas and add to them, as copyrighting and patents rarely apply – merely for logos and brand names, and in the case of Christian Louboutin, trademark red-soled high heels (with the exception of Yves Saint Laurent, which may use the red sole for entirely red shoes, as ruled by a United States court of appeals in 2012). When trends die down, new trends appear – and often, they are just old ideas that have been “rejuvenated.” Take the shoulder pad: popular as part of the power suit of the 1980s, ridiculed and despised in the 1990s, it was part of a new trend in the late 2000s. When it made its comeback, the “new” shoulder pad was seen as a hard break from the softer looks of previous years and as a detail, not a statement. An old design, transformed to suit the new generation – a remix."
"While remixing has been around since the dawn of time, we are currently seeing an increase in the momentum and proliferation of remixes. Globalization has made the remixing process much simpler. Worldwide logistics have become faster, and, in turn, so have supply chains, meaning that products and ideas are more quickly and easily accessible to all."
"Naturally, digitalization has also done its part. Good ideas spread like wildfire, making it possible for engineers, entrepreneurs and product developers to copy, transform and combine ideas in real time. Business specialists no longer need to fly to Texas to see things for themselves, and lab researchers can save much time through computerized prototypes rather than building models themselves."
"The next step to speed up the remixing process could be “the Internet of Things”, which will see technology connected to and communicating with each other. "