The full article is behind The New Yorker's %$#&ing firewall.
Starkweather, and his compatriots at Xerox PARC, weren't the source of disciplined strategic insights. They were wild geysers of creative energy.
The psychologist Dean Simonton argues that this fecundity is often at the heart of what distinguishes the truly gifted. The difference between Bach and and his forgotten peers isn't necessarily that he had a better ratio of hits to misses. The difference is that the mediocre might have a dozen ideas, while Bach, in his lifetime, created more than a thousand full-fledged musical compositions. A genius is a genius, Simonton maintains, because he can put together such a staggering numbers of insights, ideas, theories, random observations and unexpected connections that he almost inevitably ends up with something great. "Quality," Simonton writes, "is s probabilistic function of quantity."
Simonton's point is that there is nothing neat and efficient about creativity. "The more successes there are, the more failures there are, as well."