Everytime I go into a movie theatre, I end up asking the same question aloud:
"Aren't there any original ideas anymore?"
It seems every movie is a remake of an old movie or a fairy tale or a kids book or a TV series, or a sequel to some other movie. In a flash of simplistic reductionism. I decide conclusively that there aren't any new ideas at all. That all 'new' ideas are just a baked together collection of old ideas.
Lets use the internet technology world as an obvious example of what I'm talking about, because that's something that moves pretty fast, and something I (sort of) understand.
Once upon a time, a California company made a better search engine. And coupled with that, they made a better revenue model, that made money from 'the long tail'. They made a gazillion dollars, in a way that didn't even seem intentional.
Now, they have this wonderful reputation, as nice guys, but also as innovators. (Although it's been humorous watching the slashdot crowd slowly turn on Google. The conspiracy theories start creeping in at the edges, and before you know it, it's Larry's face with the Borg implant...)
But while Google are certainly innovative, they're not immune to a bit of inspiration, either.
Every time something new comes out in the web tech world, it seems like you've heard it all before. And you know why? Because for the most of it, you have. Check out my innovation map of who made what and how, and you'll see that there are only 7 original ideas, from the 21 products listed:
(I know, I left out a bunch of stuff. I'm just focusing on the web 2.0 stuff from the last few years. And I'm calling all those yellow 'inspired by' lines based solely on how I saw them, so there's probably room for argument. )
Still, none of the seven ideas are actually new. Webmail is just mail on the web. (E-mail is the actual idea, and that's really just the pony express). These guys pre-dated the google maps phenomenon, but even all that Ajax and Web 2.0 stuff is just based on XMLHTTP, which Microsoft invented years ago for OWA, but even that's just http...which is just more pony express. Skype and all the IM crew are just coasting on the coat-tails of Samuel Morse, and Keyhole just made a big fat round atlas....
Isn't reductionism fun? It makes you feel ever so clever :)
And that's better than most modern movies...