Over at Creative Class, they have an interesting post on Density and Creativity. Instead of density, I like to think of it as critical mass — that mix of talent, ideas and money needed to set things moving. That is why it is so hard to create another Silicon Valley or LA or New York. All of those cities have the right critical mass for their industries.
When you have a critical mass of talent, it’s only natural that most will socialize and generate great ideas. Some of those ideas will become innovative products or better ways to do your job.
It’s a probability game once you hit that critical mass point. More ideas get generated, funded and worked on. Ideas also have to survive a tough environment when the density of talent is great. It’s akin to survival of the fittest. Those environments will always be more innovative.