Last Updated on: September 18, 2023
I once had a conversation online with someone who insisted that paid seminars and courses are just a waste of money because what speakers do is just combining ideas that are already available online.
At first, it looks like a legitimate observation because, true enough, a lot of what speakers say are ideas from multiple sources, events, and people that are just elegantly combined into a single train of thought.
But I had to disagree with the person on the other side of my screen that paying for such resources is just a waste of money because what they described is synthesis.
It may just be unfamiliar to the commenter, but the act of combining ideas from different sources or synthesizing is already a high-level skill.
Table of Contents
What is Synthesis?
Synthesis means combining ideas to create something new, which can pave the way to other creative outputs and systems. This can also be applied to different fields and applications.
According to the original Bloom’s Taxonomy (1956), synthesis is the second on the hierarchy, next to evaluation. This places the ability to combine ideas with higher-order thinking skills.
However, Anderson and Krathwohl (2001) modified Bloom’s Taxonomy, where they placed synthesis at the top of the pyramid and renamed it “creating.”
So, if we use this concept, we can say that combining ideas can create a new one.
This principle is also similar to the concept of learning transfer, where you break down ideas into fundamental parts (analyze) and then use them to create something new (synthesis).
Why is Synthesis Important?
Synthesis or combining ideas is important because it helps us integrate different knowledge. It is also a great idea of how we can improve.
When we hear “creating,” we usually picture artists producing masterpieces or writers crafting exceptional lines and sentences.
However, synthesis is not reserved for the arts. It can also be used in the sciences and personal growth and development.
Synthesis is a crucial skill we all need to learn, especially today, because almost everyone has a skill they want to explore, and more people are interested in entering the creative space, like YouTube and Tiktok.
Monetize Your Combined Ideas
The impact of synthesis is also a marketable skill, especially in the age of the creator economy and social media, with tens of thousands of people making a living from creating content.
I heard it from Justin Welsh about the general rule of thumb in monetizing an online business: people are willing to pay someone if they can help them make money, save money, or save time.
So, based on this presumption, synthesizing different ideas to condense them into a smaller nugget of wisdom will save people time on finding various resources online and reading the same idea over and over again.
How Can We Use Synthesis?
1. We can create something new.
The most important aspect and application of synthesis is the ability to collect and connect seemingly different ideas into a single, cohesive thought.
It’s important to understand that synthesis involves more than just summarizing various ideas. By uniquely combining them, you may discover a fresh perspective on a common issue that could have a significant impact.
The most popular way of creating something new by combining different elements is through social media platforms such as YouTube and TikTok.
2. We can improve our thought processes.
Combining and synthesizing ideas can enhance our thinking process by enabling us to identify details applicable in other contexts, similar to how we do transfer learning.
Before understanding synthesis, we might view various concepts as separate and unrelated. However, synthesis allows us to consider the connections between things.
3. We can teach better.
Finally, like the person who said that paid seminars and courses are a waste of money since they only combine already existing ideas, idea synthesis can help us use the combined knowledge to teach others.
We don’t need to sell our courses and seminars, but we can use synthesis in teaching when we share our ideas on social media, through a website, and with other people.
Remember that when we share ideas, we may also teach someone something they don’t know yet.