October 21st, 2003



Rojisan’s entry on determinism was very interesting and reminded me something about inventors and innovators.

Inventors are usually brilliant people but they are also very stubborn. I suppose it is the stubbornness that enables them to perserve on despite any criticisms. Unfortunately, it is also this stubbornness proof to be their greatest pitfalls.

When they invents something, they don’t just invent a product…they envision the whole ecosystem, of how their inventions is going to work, how the market is going to use them. So when the market wants their invention for something else, they not only actively ignore it but reject it outright.The most famous story was of course John Wesley Hyatt, the inventor of roller bearings. He strongly believe that his invention should be used for railway although the railway companies are not interested. Bankrupted, John sold the company off to Alfred Sloan for 5,000. Alfred adapt the bearings for cars and Ford become his biggest customer. Helater sold the company off for 13.5M.

This story of “first failure, twice success” is something we see repeated so often in the sillicon valley…

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