IDEAS AND YOU.
Ideas are infinite. Accept that premise, and you will be set for life, in academics or business. Don't accept that premise, and you doom yourself to a bleak future...
Ok, maybe that was a bit excessive, but the truth is that if you do not believe there is an infinite number of ideas out there, you will have trouble working with others and you will be blocking yourself from tapping into real innovation.
Why is this? Well, let's assume that you believe that ideas are not infinite. You believe that there are only so many good ideas (or solutions). That means that if you come up with a good idea, you believe you have grabbed one of the few good ones out there. You will, therefore, hold onto that idea because you can't be certain if there's another idea out there. So, if a friend comes along and suggests trying something different, you will be reluctant to let go of your idea. A person who believes ideas are infinite, on the other hand, would be willing to let go of the idea and try something different because he would believe that he could find another great idea.
Also, if you come up with a good idea that has one or two flaws, you might push forward with it anyway because you don't believe there's anything better out there. If you believed that ideas were infinite though, you would let go of the flawed idea, confident in your ability to find a new, unflawed one. It is possible to turn bad ideas into good ones by using your creativity, but the only way to do that is to believe that you can expand upon your current one and come up with something better.
This is less about fact and more about belief. No one can prove whether ideas are infinite. You either choose to believe it or not. I like to believe that they are infinite. I like to believe that no matter how good my current idea is, I could come up with a new one that is as good or better than it. This attitude also allows me to believe that every problem has a solution, which is a very powerful belief to have when it comes to business and life. The opposite approach, that ideas are limited, restricts people's power and willingness to push forward and try new things.
We should settle for finite disappointment however ne'er lose infinite hope.