What do Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, and Marie Curie all have in common? They’re widely recognized as some of the greatest innovators of all time, yes. But what made them such legendary innovators? 

They welcomed the element of Surprise. 

Surprise: The power of 400%

Surprise. It’s what drives us humans to learn and experience. It’s why we travel, why we take risks, and why we love to learn. We want to be surprised. And here’s why: research shows that Surprise intensifies emotions by about 400%. When we’re Surprised, we’re forced to make sense of the unexpected. This causes our brains to create new pathways, making connections to try to understand the unknown. 

These new pathways engage our senses and give us the ability to think more creatively. In a world full of distractions, Surprise forces us to be in the moment. It releases dopamine, which is that feel-good drug that also helps us focus and zone in on our present experience.

When we’re surprised, our brain becomes electric, like a circuit board that’s just been powered on. A super brain making connections at lightning speed. Surprise intensifies our emotions by about 400%, which basically gives us creative superpowers. Pretty cool, huh? 

Case study: The power of Surprise

Mariah Carey’s 1991 song “Emotions”: powered by Surprise.  

One day in the late 80s/early 90s, Mariah Carey met a man who Surprised her with his capacity for love, causing her to feel emotions deeper than she’d ever dreamed of. This man Surprised Mariah so much that her emotions were intensified by about 400%, inspiring her to write the song that your Mom used to crank up in her Toyota Camry with the windows down. I don’t know about you, but I want an experience that makes my voice reach Mariah-level octaves. 

Inspiration for a Grammy-nominated masterpiece. This is the power of Surprise. 

What companies are missing

What most companies don’t realize is that they’re designing environments that are a creative’s kryptonite. Mundane tasks, endless checklists, and an assembly line approach to work. A routine day in and day out with no variation, no excitement, and no Surprise strips their team of the opportunity to experience their creative superpowers. Surprise is one of the keys to innovation. And innovation is what creates awesome new things like art and spaceships and iPhones. 

No Surprise = No Innovation

No Surprise = No iPhones 

No Surprise = No Grammy-nominated hits 

Imagine a world without iPhones. Or catchy, chart-topping tracks. A world without Mariah. *tear*

Humans are innovative by nature. As we grow up and learn how to live in a world with structure and rules, we are taught to think in certain ways. What happens when that structure is disrupted? When the rules are broken?

You may just Surprise yourself. 

What you can do for your team: Innovate with us

Even though uncertainty is the space where creativity grows, many businesses don’t like it. They lead with the belief that predictability and control cause personal and business success. But that’s not true. Certainty takes away the opportunity for game-changing breakthroughs and innovations that challenge norms. It strips us of our superpowers.

That’s why when we discovered the power of Surprise, we knew we had to create a system that changes the way companies work. We wanted to disrupt the norm. To give people the chance to experience the power of their super brains. Because super brains change the world.

We believe you and your team deserve the chance to see what your minds are capable of when the excitement of the unknown is introduced into the workday. The element of Surprise, when paired with unique missions designed specifically for each member of your team… this is what we’ve found to be the most effective in creating innovation. Which leads to big ideas. A happier, fulfilled team. And a happier, fulfilled you.

Come innovate with us and experience how Surprise can help your team discover their true superpowers.

Allie Demopoulos is a Content Copywriter at Surprise.com. A writer and producer, she believes that humor is the greatest tool and that the best of anything–comedy, music, stories–are experienced in basements. When she’s not creating, you can find her in the electric streets of Manhattan, a place she feels lucky to call home.