“We call Steve Jobs a genius presumably because he saw connections where others did not, and leveraged them to create an empire. Andreasen says this is a critical difference: the effect of making hidden connections. It underlies entire swaths of her research into why some lead lives of creative stardom, while others succumb to sickness.
“Of course, having too many ideas can be dangerous,” she writes. The biographer Walter Isaacson, for example, found in his extensive interviews with Steve Jobs’s friends and coworkers that the Apple co-founder often sucked people into his “reality distortion field,” a perilous zone in which the regular laws of the working world didn’t apply. He’d bark at people to start outlandish projects with impossibly short deadlines, and most of the time, his madness gave way to progress. But not always. As Isaacson explains, at Apple there was a lot of crying.
“Part of what comes with seeing connections no one else sees,” explains Andreasen, “is that not all of these connections actually exist.”
Another part, of course, is communicating with all those that do not see all the connections…