For those of you who aren’t super obsessed Apple Fanboys, you may not know that one of the biggest Apple events, Macworld, is right around the corner. In fact, it all starts on Tuesday 1/15 and Steve Jobs will tell us about those amazing and shiny new products that Apple has been working on. But I am not talking about Macworld. What interests me are the weeks that lead up to it.

The weeks, or even months, before Macworld is when people start “leaking” information that someone on the “inside” has passed along. In addition, you also see speculation about where the industry is headed and the products that are “definitely” going to be released. Some rumor sites post lists of their readers ideas and speculation, most of which sound as if there origins are in a science fiction story. We hear stories about really cool technology that doesn’t really sound feasible. In the end, most of the rumors and speculation are usually wrong and way off the mark, but this doesn’t negate their value. In fact, these fake rumors are just as important as the products that are actually released.

All these fake rumors were created by someone’s imagination. They dreamt of things that they would like to see invented and instead of shooting down an idea because it was unrealistic, they ran with it. They told others about these ideas and somewhere along the way it turned into, “Company A is going to release product B according to a reliable source.” The fact is, a companies innovation is limited to their creators imagination. If people stop dreaming and start saying “this isn’t possible” or “it can’t be done” then innovation will come to a standstill. Some of the greatest products are a result of people following their imagination.

I don’t believe that all, or even most, of these rumors are started by employees at Apple or other tech companies, but their idea could still make it there. Someone may hear about this idea and try to make it a reality. These creative individuals may even start their own company or find their way into one that is already established.

Remember to take the rumors you hear with a grain of salt, but don’t stop enjoying these fantasy products that may show up in the future.