This is strikingly similar to the point Dan made at BIF-7, that unconventional and non-commissioned work can lead to breakthroughs and innovation. As an example, Dan cited Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov who won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics for groundbreaking experiments with graphene during their free "Friday evening experiment" time. (Note: Dan explores the potency and value of non-commissioned work in more detail in his newest book, Drive.)
Most unconventional and non-commissioned experiments do not lead to breakthroughs, though, and Dan indicated that the failure rate might be as high as 90%. This recalls Sturgeon's Law, the famous adage from American speculative fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon that states "ninety percent of everything is crap".
Dan deftly closed out BIF-7 by relating how Andre Geim previously won an Ig Noble Prize (years before he won the Nobel Prize) for work on the magnetic levitation of frogs. Dan's conclusion: "If you really want to change the world, you need to levitate some frogs".
My Review of Drive:
Dan Pink on Twitter:
BIF Profile Page
This is part of my 31 (More) Days of #BIF7 blog series.