A recent research conducted by scients at Northwestern University revealed a common success formula that was shared by high achieved professionals across a variety of areas from research scientists to artists and movie directors. “In this paper, we constructed large-scale datasets for creative products from a wide range of disparate sources, including images of artworks for artists, film plots and casts for directors, and publication and citation information for scientists, along with their impact measures of auction prices, IMDb ratings and paper citations, respectively,” the researchers wrote.

In this study, data was collected from more than 2,100 artists, 4,300 directors, and 20,000 scientists.  Artificial intelligence was applied to help identify patterns in large data sets. Results of the study suggested a pattern across artists, scientists, and film directors with hot streaks: their work was often more diverse prior to their hot streak period than during the randomly selected times. In conclusion, there are “identifiable regularities underlying the onset of career hot streaks, which appear to apply universally across a wide range of creative domains,” and “a major turning point for individual careers appears most closely linked with neither exploration nor exploitation behavior in isolation, but rather with the particular sequence of exploration followed by exploitation.”

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