If you haven't been watching Kirby Ferguson's video series, Everything is a Remix, go watch it now. The highly intelligent and well-researched series challenges modern views of creativity by pointing out that nearly all critically-lauded works are built upon the foundations of works that preceded them.
For the third video in the series, Ferguson offers up a great modern-day example: the Mac. It's a well-known bit of computing lore that much of the innovations of the original Mac OS drew inspiration from work done at Xerox, but Ferguson goes one step farther and points out the inventions and ideas that laid the foundation for Xerox's fledgling OS in the 1970s.
Ferguson's thesis is that truly revolutionary ideas never spring fully-formed from the ether, and his example of the original Macintosh reminds us that all the gadgetry we use today, whether we take it for granted, complain about it breaking or accuse one company or another of ripping off the other's ideas, is a product of a steady stream of evolutionary steps rather than revolutionary thinking. Whether you're talking about Mac OS X Lion, Windows 8, iOS 5 or the latest sugary snack-named version of Android, all of them are simply remixes of what came before when it comes down to it.