Researchers investigating the achievements of thousands of innovators have established that 29 is the age at which you are most likely to have your first big, original idea.
The age represents the optimum combination of education and energy levels required for great ideas to emerge, according to the study.
The findings show that for an individual to dream up a new idea, they first have to assimilate far more information than previous generations in order to add to what is already known.
Absorbing the level of learning required to innovate now consumes the first three decades of life. “If one is to stand on the shoulders of giants, one must first climb up their backs, and the greater the body of knowledge, the harder this climb becomes,”says the report, funded by America’s National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).
The NBER studied the ages of 55,000 patent holders for new inventions and concluded that the age at which the creative spark ignites has risen to 29. They found that the average age for an inventor to have his ‘Eureka’ moment is increasing by 0.6 years each decade.
However, the wait is even longer for true genius to show. In the past century the age at which great inventors and Nobel winners made their life-changing discoveries increased by six years, with the average now just short of 40.