It's simple the main characters name is Cobb,They break in someones living space where you can find some secrets or private things.Cobb change things in the living room,so what he can do with changing things is changing someones mind also.
It's exactly what happens in Inception,Cobb + team break in someones room (brain) they change things,and the person that walks in that room again (waking Up) has a diffrent version in his head then before,without knowing how it happened.
Inception is the big blockbuster version of Following.Inception's inspiration is in much ways from Following (Nolans debut film)
You know what BatMotor said isn't that crazy. I mean it's a miracle that no reporter has asked Nolan before why the main character's name in Inception is the same as in Following. It surely has some reason, and besides that I've already heard that theroy somewhere on the internet So it has gotten some people's mind.
I think Inception gets a lot of inspiration from Nolans previous movies. Following - like you mentioned. Memento - A lot of self discovery. Based in the mind of the protagonist. A lot of audiences interpretation involved. Insomnia - About a 'last job' so he can go back home. Alot to do with the protagonists conscious and guilt. Batman Begins - Involves the hero's potential and skill. Actions that affect the world. The Prestige - Most similar story-telling order. Reveals the secrets of the story similarly. TDK - Strong relationship and a lot of interaction between the hero and villain....and all the obvious links I think I could've made longer and more detailed links, but these seem good enough.