Innovation signals: the resistive signals tipping entrepreneurs they are onto something

Reading signals of latent innovation emergence amidst economic, cultural and social factors that creates resistance

“The following year a group of three roads connected Philadelphia and Pittsburgh; later they would be combined into the Pennsylvania Railroad. By 1840 only four of the nation’s twenty-six states still lacked any railroad track. As rails spread across the land, opposition came from canal owners, some stats that had invested heavily in canals, turnpike and bridge companies, stagecoach lines, tavernkeepers, and anyone who saw his business threatened by the railroad. Some people even raised religious and moral objections. An Ohio school board warned in 1828 that ‘if God had designed that His intelligent creatures should travel at the frightful speed of 25 miles an hour by steam, He wold have foretold it through His holy prophets. It is a device of Satan to lead immortal souls down to Hell.’” — The Power Makers: Steam, Electricity, and the Men Who Invented Modern America By Maury Klein

Based in Maury’s notes, the above citation within the citation, “if God had …” was taken from the Life and Decline of the American Railroad, July 9, 1970, by John F. Stover.

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