What is the best idea? Who can make the judgement? How to weigh Einstein's 'theory of relativity' against Intel's microprocessor? Many people in various countries have been used the small chips created by Intel to do their work or to play games at home. Not a lot people have fully understood what the theory of relativity means. Apparently, Intel's microprocessors are more related to common people's life than Einstein's abstruse theory. Einstein's theory has been applied in research of the space and has contributed to the success of landing on the Moon. So in a large sense, acadimic theories can also affect common people's life.
Though it is hard to define 'best' idea, some ideas are universally acknowledged to be good ideas, such as Edison's electric bulb and Bill Gates' Windows operating system. Were they all driven by a passionate interest in commonplace things? The answer is clearly no. In Bill Gates' case, computer was only used in scientific calculation by institutions or company and was far away from common household.
I believe in both cases mentioned above, the good ideas were driven by curiosity or by passionate interest in the technologies. In other fields, successful ideas may be driven by other things. For example, in the fields of economy and social science, great minds may have concerned about the living of common people and how to achieve sustainable growth of a nation. Their ideas, hence, may have risen from a passionate interest in commonplace things. Nowadays, with gloabalization quickening its pace, goods and capital flowing across boards of nations, people seem to have become more mercenary. Media tends to prefer those who achieve business success rather than scientific results. In such circumstances, there is no doubt that profit is another effective motive to good ideas.
Comparing successful stories of...