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Chapter 1: The Power of Collaboration > Invisible Collaboration

Invisible Collaboration

The Wright brothers lived together, ate together, and discussed their project every day. Their collaboration was visible to everyone around them, and it speaks from every page of their journals. But many creative collaborations are almost invisible—and it’s these largely unseen and undocumented collaborations that hold the secrets of group genius.

The mountain bike provides a perfect example of what I call “invisible collaboration.” No one knows exactly when and where that innovation originated, but it probably dates to the early 1970s in Marin County, California. In the early 1970s, road cycling was making a comeback in America, and Marin County was a cycling hotbed. In the off-season, some of these bicyclists started riding just for fun on the dirt trails of Mount Tamalpais, or Mount Tam as locals call it, which rises 2,571 feet above San Francisco Bay. The roots and rocks would have trashed their expensive road-racing bikes, so they went to yard sales and scrounged up old balloon-tire bikes from the 1930s and 1940s. The fat tires provided a little extra give on the rough terrain.....


  

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