Essentially, the researchers looked at two studies from the University of Pennsylvania and found that even though people say that they want new and creative ideas, they don't actually accept them. Anything that is new raises feelings of uncertainty, and therefore fear, and then dislike, and thus rejection.
That sorta brought to mind this guy:
And Pixar fans wouldn't even know these guys...
...or this one...
...if it weren't for Jobs' visionary expertise. By the way, did you know he was fired for a little while from Apple? He founded another successful company in his down time before Apple asked him to come back.
So, if we wouldn't have some of the things we enjoy if it weren't for the Edisons and Jobses of the world, why are we still resistant to creative ideas?
In short, we're human. We think it makes us look cool when we say we like change and creativity, but as this study shows, we're really only fooling ourselves. And that's why there was only one Edison and there is only one Jobs. It's not enough to have a great idea. People like these have proven you also have to have the guts to endure failure after failure and rejection after rejection until that one perfect moment when the stars and planets align and you can break through. And then, there's the work to keep that momentum going.
Simply put, no human likes creativity. But only a handful are willing to challenge that until they win.
Naturally, this same concept can and does apply to publishing books. Now, especially for indies and self-pubbers, that doesn't give us leave to put out crap and not put our work through beta readers and professional editors first. But it does make sense why some books get through and others don't in the traditional realm. And it's not all the agents and editors' faults. Almost every editor at every conference I've attended has several instances of books they would've died to publish but couldn't because the rest of the house didn't think it would be a profitable project.
Humans are predisposed to reject creativity. It's in our DNA.
Fortunately, we live in the age of Apple and Adobe and Amazon and Google and so many other things that have changed the game. Suddenly, all those great book ideas that couldn't find a place on agent and publisher lists are finding a place in hearts of the readers themselves.
No, we can't all be J.A. Konrath and Amanda Hocking. Just like we can't all be Steven Jobs. But we can certainly learn from their success as we try to carve out our own. If anything, they showed that despite DNA, it is possible and it is worth a shot. Or two or three.
(Images courtesy of Apple and Pixar.)