Steven Johnson runs into trouble when he tries to construct a universal theory of how innovation happens in Where Good Ideas Come From
A peak moment in the history of innovation occurred millions of years before the arrival ofHomo sapiens, when feathered dinosaurs first soared above the Earth. Their feathers were not adapted for flight, having evolved as insulation: the dinosaurs hijacked a useful trait for a novel purpose, a classic case of what palaeontologists call exaptation.
According to Steven Johnson, many signal human inventions have followed the same pattern. For instance, Johannes Gutenberg pioneered book publishing by exapting the screw press, a grape-crushing technology that had been developed over the course of a millennium.