Only certain changes are possible at any given time. It depends on what 'spare parts' - other innovations or ideas - are available on which a new innovation can develop. Combinations of ideas pushes out the boundaries of possible new innovations.
Exaptation involves borrowing a mature technology from an unrelated field and using it to solve an unrelated problem. Chance favours the connected mind. You do not necessarily have to be an expert in other fields. Often, all that is needed is a weak tie connection to be able to identify and borrow ideas and tools.
When the pool of minds that can share ideas widens, individuals become become 'smarter' as different intellectual disciplines collide. There are a greater number of connections in this environment. Many good ideas can flourish in a networked, non-market environment, despite the lack of economic incentive. The natural movement of ideas can move without restriction.
The slow hunch involves having the seeds of something profound but lacking a key element to turn it into something powerful. Ideas can take shape slowly, a pattern detected after countless hours of observation and inquiry. It is an idea in a partial, incomplete form.
The idea can often be completed by combining it with another partial idea that someone else may have.
Serendipity is the power of accidental connection that may complete a hunch.
Error often creates a path away from comfortable assumptions, which forces exploration. Noise-free environments are too sterile and predictable in their output.