Building 20 at MIT was known as “the magical incubator.” The building had poor ventilation, poor lighting, thin walls and a leaky roof. A motley of different labs called it home, from the Laboratory for Nuclear Science to a piano repair shop to a cell culture lab. In this chaotic environment, people in unrelated fields constantly bumped into each other and talked about their work.
If you find yourself in a brainstorming session, enjoy the coffee and cookies and have fun. But you’ll end up with far better ideas if you break the rule and debate the ideas or talk them over with people different from you.