When you change the world and no one notices
It takes the innovators (which are often shrewd introverts) to create new things and early adopters (well-connected extroverts) to spread the word to the next group. I think the same can be said of almost any industry — All our intelligence and energy is spent on competing with each other and then using marketing/advertising to leverage tiny advantages in a product/service in order to win over disproportionate amounts of customers. That obviously happened long after the incremental development of the plane itself, considering the repeated postpones due to financial constraints (as all the required expenses were pretty much his own). The menace to our people of vehicles of this type hurtling through our streets and along our roads and poisoning the atmosphere would call for prompt legislative action.
RC Planes and helicopter POV footage was great to enjoy on YouTube, but the learning curve was so immense that it kept the mainstream market away. Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand responded by removing Columbus from power and replacing him with Francisco de Bobadilla, a member of the Order of Calatrava. Bobadilla, who ruled as governor from 1500 until his death in a storm in 1502, had also been tasked by the Court with investigating the accusations of brutality made against Columbus. The important thing to understand is at the end of the century, as bandwidth, infrastructure scaling, reliability were all getting better, the phone happened, as a logical next step.
The article is certainly interesting but it has the same trait as too many pop science books: it relies on selective anecdotal evidence to support their specific point. He should be more modest and avoid giving les sons to journalists and industrialists when he does not now his own history, even 140 years later and with the Hell of the internet and Wikipedia. If you wanted to get up into the clouds in 1903, you weren’t going to use a Wright Brothers machine that would only let you skip along the ground for a few minutes at a time, you’d use a hot air balloon and stick around for a while. > The menace to our people of vehicles of this type hurtling through our streets and along our roads and poisoning the atmosphere would call for prompt legislative action.
When they paid for the Manhattan project, the Norden bomb sight, or electronics and computing R&D they didn’t stop to think about if that would ever create a financial return. The time between invention and practical application is shortening (Internet plays a huge part) which is why the pace of innovation is accelerating. We did exactly the same as the #1, and #1 also didn’t actually do anything innovative, just a different version of what had already been in this world for decades, technology not all that superior to existing things, the changes were in the business model mostly. On a technical level that might be true, but to the average user I think the edge google had over its competitors was that its product was vastly superior.
The documentary evidence to support such a claim remains open to interpretation, and Pearse did not develop his aircraft to the same degree as the Wright brothers, who achieved sustained controlled flight. The fact that they could come with the first valid solution provides a lot of value for society, in the same way of solving the nuclear problem by slowing the neutrons with heavy water(a crazy idea from a single guy) gave America an advance over the Germans. One of them was Traian Vuia, struggling with financial difficulties which significantly delayed both the plane development and its final public demonstration in Paris! A highly polished and optimized thing that works flawlessly and is cheap to produce can and likely will have hundreds of millions of happy users.
Leaving aside the “Columbus got lucky” argument, he was a woefully incompetent administrator of the Spanish colonies he was put in charge of, in addition to being a tyrant. I admire Wrights thoroughly for their vision, hard work and making miracle happen through their miger resources but saying that no one would have noticed if they saw first airplane in air is bogus. 1870 PV cells were a pretty piss poor energy source, the real revolution happened in the last 10 years when they started to become an economic competitor. My personal explanation is that many good inventions are bought by the competition and then quickly hidden in the drawers, because not every technology that is better than before allows the company who owns it to also make more money than before.
I think transformative inventions like airplanes or index funds can by definition only be defined in retrospect and the odds that anything contemporary can be predicted to turn out the same way are slim. There the royal couple heard the brothers’ pleas; restored their freedom and wealth; and, after much persuasion, agreed to fund Columbus’s fourth voyage. Google succeeded because they were similar enough that it was easy to try them, but met resistance because they were different enough that for a portion of the user base it was not clear that the advantages they had on simple queries was worth it. Curtiss sells an aileron plane; Wrights begin suing him and basically everything that moves, including foreign aviators who visit the US.
Conducting scientific aerodynamic experiments demonstrating drag and streamlining, movement of the centre of pressure, and the increase in lift from curving the wing surface. I don’t disagree with the thesis of the article for inventions that were destined to be successful but I think it exhibits a strong sense of surviorship bias in predicting anything contemporary to be in the same league. Routing was a thing, but there were some limitations of how many communications could happen at the same time on the same wire (Baud was the one who actually worked on that), making scaling difficult. Basically chasing fads and trends instead of doing anything truly innovative because the venture model can’t follow through something that requires a decade of incubation.
I’ve aplied to the YC 16 winter for acritic nails that change colors with your phone or you can load a gif I hope they go for it so I can make cars fly. Leonardo makes insightful observations of gliding flight by birds and the way in which they balance themselves with their wings and tail, just as the Wright brothers would do as they evolved their first aeronautical designs.” Whereas the Wright brothers played their secret mission game, Traian Vuia carried his plane all over the Europe from Lugoj to Paris (using the transport infrastructure of that time, mind you) only to publicly show and test it. The aeolipile, regarded as a curious novelty (a ‘temple wonder’), created by Heron of Alexander in 1st century AD was the first steam turbine… the eventual mastery of which led to the industrial revolution.
Other not so wealthy pioneers are Percy Pilcher, Lawrence Hargrave, Samuel Franklin Cody, Otto Lilienthal, Aurel Vlaicu, and many others. I think the reason why it takes years for disruptive innovations to get noticed is because marketing (and by extension, the media) is paid for by ‘today money’. Wilbur and Orville Wright made their historic first powered flight on December 17, 1903, from Kill Devil Hill in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The part about “The menace to our people of vehicles of this type hurtling through our streets and along our roads and poisoning the atmosphere would call for prompt legislative action” seems like such contemporary issues I would have been amazed if someone would have foretold their importance back then.
I remember early PDA adopters being dismissive of the iPhone on-screen keyboard, because it was “pointless”: Grafitti worked so much better on a small screen…. for those of us who had spent a couple of years or more learning how to write fast with it. The irony is that, while the Wright Brothers are the only household names from the pioneering days of flight, essential contributions were made long before Kitty Hawk, and many came after them to make their planes useful.
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