The demise of conceptual integrity


When's the last time you were truly shocked or riveted by an innovation? Once in a while a concept will come along that awes the public, but for the most part, creative recycling has saturated the world of today. Ironically, as technology helps the human race to connect, unique ideas are becoming scarce - what is presently considered "unique" by most individuals is often a concept that already exists but has been modified or upgraded in some way. Nowadays, it's very easy to capitalize upon someone else's idea structure - simply replicate the foundations of the concept and implement your own "flare" or "twist". Now you have manifested a fully marketable monster; an entirely new brand or product (or so you'll have the public thinking). 

Adaptation has become the norm and pure inception a foreign pastime. Evaluating someone else's product, adjusting the stylistic output and slapping a new name on it doesn’t constitute originality! However, consumers don’t know the difference because this process has become so common that it's no longer visible to those who don't take the time to look; a classic case of falsehood immunity. With technological advances, marketing tools such as social media only entice entrepreneurs to build off of the backs of others, manipulate and re-market intellectual property and grow their empires of illusion. This opportunistic behavior can be spotted in every industry - music, film, fashion, design, automotive, you name it. 

Marketing effectiveness has replaced the value of product quality and a well-exposed, yet unoriginal brand will generate more sales than an unfamiliar brand with authentic products. Success isn't so much measured by what you know as it is by who you know - those with large fanbases can make a killing, regardless of whether or not their product carries any substance. The true, masterful inventor has become a dying breed - overshadowed by mass reproduction, washed away by the culture of ‘steal, adjust, market, sell, repeat’.

Those profiteering off the ideas of others will continue to deny the truth, coaxing themselves into believing their offerings are one of a kind. Furthermore, profitable revenues only serve as an incentive to continue looking to others as a source for inspiration instead of originating new ideas. However, you can't blame people for adapting instead of innovating - if imagination is no longer required to accumulate the almighty dollar, then the bulk of civilization isn't going to waste time and energy exercising originality. On a planet where everything has already been done before, will you choose to piggyback your way into success or will you take the road less traveled and spark a revolution?