In the age of celebrity role models, epic Twitter rants and reality TV presidential candidates, money talks and the cult of the individual reigns supreme.
But does the idealized image of the self-made man turned Silicone Valley billionaire reflect a healthy and productive society, or does it indicate a deep crisis of our civilization? Does human innovation come from the inspiration of lone geniuses, or is it a product of a slow process of cooperation within collaborative networks?
The lone genius/rags-to-riches narrative is compelling and lucrative. It boosts book sales, TV ratings, Facebook friend requests and Twitter followers, but it is largely inaccurate. Upon close inspection, many individuals revered as lone geniuses are in reality the public face of a collaborative duo.