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Why I Love Inventors and Invention...


Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man

"The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do" – Steve Jobs

I’m always blown away by the realisation that every time I look around me I’m surrounded by objects and things that someone invented. Seriously, everything.

I’m not just talking about our modern, must have, smart phone style ‘Tech’ that, just twenty years ago, would have seemed like science fiction, but the simple everyday things we take for granted. I’m sat at my desk in a comfortable swivel chair looking out through my glass windows cocooned in my brick-built house marvelling at the fact that at some point these items didn’t exist, but have been invented for my, and your, benefit. Look around you. Everything that makes your modern life comfortable started out with an inventor thinking ‘there’s got to be a better way to do that’.

I have spent all of my childhood and most of my adult working life consumed by the subject of inventors and inventing, but even I sometimes lose sight of the sheer collective magnificence of inventor achievements, and the debt we all owe to them. I was reminded this week by the video (below) produced by the European Patent Office (EPO) to celebrate both 10 years of the European Inventor Award and the spirit of invention itself. It moved me – I hope it moves you too.

Some inventors have achieved fame and wealth, but not the vast majority. Most have quietly toiled away at the nuts, bolts, springs and sprockets, chemical compounds, materials, gadgets, etc. which quite literally glue our society together. What nobler calling than that of an inventor?

"I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work" – Thomas Edison

A Glum Edison


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