There are few ideas in the world that are truly original. Most of the time what we are introduced to in business is either:

  • A principle of business which has been recognised for many years (even centuries in some cases) but which is now clothed in modern garments: or
  • A collaboration (collision?) of existing ideas where two previously separate concepts are brought together in an innovative new manner.

As a researcher of business ideas I constantly come across the latest thinking only to discover it has roots in work or principles laid down a hundred years or more ago. Indeed, one of my most popular presentations is entitled “How Steve Jobs could have started the industrial revolution and James watt could have invented the iPhone.” Many of the principles behind Apple’s success in the 21st century are also to be found in the business strategies of James Watt and his partner, Matthew Boulton, back in the late 18th century.

I think there’s a saying that goes something like, “There’s nothing new under the sun” In fact a quick search on Google reveals it to be an Old Testament verse from Ecclesiastes:

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again: there is nothing new under the sun

Now, none of what I’ve said so far is intended to lessen my admiration for the thinking, application and execution that goes into business today. To know the principle is one thing, to apply it in an effective way quite another. Indeed much of what is current thinking has actually been ‘re-discovered’ because of our overwhelming reluctance to learn from others. I’ve got a quote for that too, from Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy. He puts it this way:

“Human Beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.”

So here’s the good news for you:

  • Fully 98+ per cent of what you need to know for business success is already known and available to you; and
  • The majority of your competition will be busy re-inventing the wheel rather than learning from the experience of others. That gives you a headstart if you know where to find the knowledge you seek.

As for me, every day I continue my search to further understand and deliver to you all that is valuable for your rapid business growth. Where I have sourced from a specific person I will always seek to credit that person in the text. If you think I’ve not properly done so, or I’ve missed the originator of an idea please let me know and I’ll rectify that omission.

In the meantime, for the sake of transparency and full disclosure I’ve listed below (in no particular order) the main sources who have influenced my thinking and enhanced my knowledge. An enormous Thank You to all of you, past and present, living or dead:

Jay Abraham ~ Brian Tracy ~ Brendon Burchard ~ Seth Godin ~ Denny Hatch ~ Michael Senoff ~ Clyde Bedell ~ Maxwell Sackheim ~ Albert Lasker ~ Claude Hopkins ~ Drayton Bird ~ Al Ries ~ Jack Trout ~ David Ogilvy ~ Dan Kennedy ~ Paul Lemberg ~ Zig Ziglar ~ Yanik Silver ~ Frank Kern ~ Tim Harford ~ Edward de Bono ~ Malcolm Gladwell ~ Michael Port ~ Michael Hyatt ~ Joe Polish ~ Peter Thomson ~ Steve Hackney ~ Andrea Gardner ~ Ted Nicholas ~ Ryan Deiss ~ Peter Drucker ~ Orison Swett Marden ~ Napoleon Hill ~ Samuel Smiles ~ Steve Jobs ~ James Watt & Matthew Boulton ~ Roy H Williams ~ ‘Todd’ ~ Claire McTernan ~ Kirk Pickstone ~ Paul Gorman ~ Jeffrey Gitomer ~ Eli Goldratt ~ Melvin Powers ~ Clayton Makepeace ~ Gary Halbert ~ Dan Roam ~ Harry Beckwith ~ CJ Hayden ~ Joe Sugarman ~ Michael Masterson ~ Tony Robbins ~ Mike Koenigs ~ Daniel Kahneman ~ Stephen R Covey ~ Corey Rudl ~ Michael Stelzner ~ Adrian Slywotzky ~ Joseph Campbell ~ Josh Kaufman ~ Nigel Botterill ~ Rachel Bridge ~ Stephen M R Covey ~ David Bach ~ Jim Rohn ~ Paul Smith ~ Dan Sullivan ~ Eugene Schwartz ~ Brian Kurtz ~ Cathy Presland ~ Gary Vaynerchuk ~ T Harv Eker ~ Harry Browne ~ Daniel H Pink ~ Atul Gawande ~ Perry Marshall ~ Norm Brodsky ~ Bo Burlingham ~ Jeff Goins ~ Tim Ferriss ~ Michael Gerber ~ John Reese ~ Ken Blanchard ~ Alexander Osterwalder ~ Robert Heller ~ John Jantsch ~ Og Mandino ~ Jeff Jarvis ~ Marcus Buckingham ~ Mark Joyner ~ Jim Collins ~ Richard Benson ~ Bill Bartmann ~ Jeffrey J Fox ~ Blair Warren ~ Chet Holmes ~ Jeff Walker ~ Chris Newton ~ Richard Johnson ~ Michael Boylan ~ Henry Mintzberg ~ Richard Branson ~ Kenny Kemp ~ Andrew Carnegie ~ Charan Gill ~ Fred deLuca ~ Michael Lewis ~ Harvey Mackay ~ Rich Schefren ~ Victor Schwab ~ Jim Camp ~ Denis Waitley ~ Tom Hopkins ~ David Sandler ~ Macrae Ross ~ Barney Zick ~ Jay Conrad Levinson ~ Bob Bly ~ Bob Stone ~ Herschell Gordon Lewis ~ Robert Cialdini ~ Lester Wunderman ~ Peter Hargreaves ~ John Harvey-Jones ~ Dale Carnegie ~ Charlie Munger ~ Janet Switzer ~ Bob Burg ~ Charles Garfield ~ Jack Canfield ~ Charles Haanel ~ Fairfax Cone ~ Rosser Reeves ~ David Lieberman ~ Dan Ariely ~ Robert Middleton ~ Hyrum W Smith ~ David Allen ~ Deborah Cadbury ~ Janet Gleeson ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb ~ John Naisbitt ~ David Deutsch ~ Jon Spoelstra ~ Philip Kotler ~ Mark Victor Hansen ~ Jimmy D Brown ~ Paul Smithson ~ Sean D’Souza ~ Ken McCarthy ~ Frank Garon ~ Dean Jackson ~ Duncan Smith … and many, many others.