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You Can Kill An Idea, But You Can't Kill An Opportunity: How to Discover New Sources of Growth for Your Organization by Pam Henderson

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CHAPTER 5

BIG LANDSCAPE

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images A German cartographer, a proofreader, a Latinist, and the nephew of a saint all got together one day to do a puzzle. They met high in the mountains of what is now Alsace Lorraine, France, in 1507. The puzzle they were trying to complete was the map of the world. The pieces were comprised of accounts of journeys and pictures of bits of the world. Some of the pieces were Ptolemy's; some were the accounts of Bartholomew Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci; and some were scattered pages bought on the black market. There may even have been pieces from Chinese explorations as there is speculation that perhaps this is how the mapmakers gained insights regarding the Rocky Mountains of North America and the Andes of South America—both of which had not yet been explored by Europeans.

When the puzzle was finished, a new picture emerged. A picture of the world as having four major parts rather than three. Common belief had been that there was only Europe, Asia, and Africa. The thinking was so deeply ingrained that when Columbus brought to light an entirely new land, it was not recognized as such for years. It wasn't until this team of scholars started putting the puzzle pieces together, reading the writings of the explorers, and studying the travelogues that they saw the world ...

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