Thoughts on the printing press and innovation

Look at how the printing press changed the world. No one had even thought about reproducing books on a mass scale before. They were written by hand and were precious. Only the very wealthy were able to read them. With the printing press it meant that everyone had access to the written word.

This of course assumes that they could read. That too had been limited to only the wealthy, who had the time and money to get an education.

We take the printing press for granted these days. It seems completely logical to not have to make books by hand one letter at a time, one person at a time. But it required the thought of one particular person and a lot of work to make it happen. Just one person had to have the idea and give it enough energy to make it real.

What new thing is about to happen that will change the way we think? What new thing is about to happen that will make us wonder will “How come we didn’t think of that?” What new thing will happen that will seem like we’ve always had it?

Before that new thing was the same old thing. We do things the same old way over and over again until either it is too difficult to do it or it breaks or somebody tries to figure out a way to make it easier to do. Necessity may be the mother of invention, but so is laziness.

Taking things for granted is death. When we take things for granted we don’t grow and we don’t change. Adversity sometimes is our greatest reward. It is our greatest spur towards growth. Sometimes the best question that can ever be asked is “Why not?” Just because we’ve always done it this way doesn’t mean we always should do it this way. Just because it works now doesn’t mean it can’t work better.