Are you an inventor or an improver?

This popped up in my Facebook feed:

“The electric light wasn’t created by continuously improving the candle.”

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No.

The electric light was created by

22 separate patent holders, working for over

70 years, and finally commercialised in a research laboratory that covered

2 city blocks.

And after all that, where did the benefits of this new fan dangled invention flow? Most of the benefit flowed to the factories, offices and cities that implemented electric lighting. Some of it flowed to patent holders such as Thomas Edison, Joseph Swan and investors such as J.P. Morgan

…most of the early inventors received nothing.

You need to know whether your organisation is an inventor or an improver. If you’re lacking the time frames and resources listed above, then identifying and implementing new opportunities may be a better strategy then creating them.