Lateral thinking: The reason you’ve heard of Nintendo and Marvel | David Epstein

June 15th, 2019

Big Think

Give yourself the gift of knowledge with a subscription to Big Think Edge. - Since the explosion of the knowledge economy in the 1990s, generalist inventors have been making larger and more important contributions than specialists. - One theory is that the rise of rapid communication technologies allowed the information created by specialists to be rapidly disseminated, meaning generalists can combine information across disciplines to invent something new. - Here, David Epstein explains how Nintendo's Game Boy was a case of "lateral thinking with withered technology." He also relays the findings of a fascinating study that found the common factor of success among comic book authors. David Epstein is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Sports Gene. He has masters degrees in environmental science and journalism and has worked as an investigative reporter for ProPublica and as a senior writer for Sports Illustrated. His latest book is Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World ( If you're interested in licensing this or any other Big Think clip for commercial or private use, contact our licensing partner Executive Interviews: Follow Big Think here: YouTube: Facebook: Twitter: