In 1952, a group of scientists conducted a behavioral study on the monkeys living on the Japanese island of Kōjima. Over the course of the experiment, the researchers would observe how the monkeys would eat sweet potato on the island’s beach. One day, they noticed one young monkey take a piece of sand-covered sweet potato and rinse it in the water of a nearby lake, so that it might taste better. Soon, other monkeys followed her lead.
The scientists then discovered that once this behaviour was established on Kōjima, the monkeys native to other islands also began to rinse sand off their food, even though some of the islands were separated by 100 miles of water. The monkeys in the surrounding island and mainland never had any contact with the original Kōjima monkeys. The idea to rinse food had entered into the collective consciousness of the species.
This study clarified a phenomenon that had been widely theorised, but never proven: the phenomenon of collective consciousness. Thoughts travel. As an entrepreneur, collective consciousness serves as a constant reminder to act fast in order to capitalise on the first to market advantage.
When you are struck with a good idea – whether it’s a new innovation or an idea for a business – remember somewhere in the world, someone else is having that same exact thought. This is the very reason multiple inventors from five continents developed separate prototypes of the combustion car at the exact same time.
If you have a brilliant idea, it is important to start working on its development, as it is highly unlikely your idea is quite as unique as you think it might be. Of course, if you are too quick to market, you may be ahead of the curve. This happens sometimes, but in any case this is better than being too late and missing the boat.
When brilliance strikes, a rebel entrepreneur won’t wait. They know that if they don’t develop it and bring it to market, someone else will.