Switched on.

Success is more than just a bright idea that works.

A good many factors contribute to whether an invention will succeed... not just whether the invention itself does what it's supposed to do.

Perhaps the most commonly considered aspect of this is commercial viability.
Most things require some degree of research and development, and this alone can be very expensive. Interestingly, most "inventions" these days are the result of carefully planned and co-ordinated projects, often involving dozens or even thousands of contributors. Such projects are usually headed by a small team of Bright Sparks who constitute the Creative Core. There's generally a manager of some description above them, basically to manage resources and ensure the project meets its goals on time. Because this chap (or chapess) holds the Big Stick, and tends to be something of a Bean Counter, he or she may not be very popular. This can be especially true where the Creative Core are concerned, as they may feel their creative talents are somewhat inhibited by this person's presence. (if there's one thing most research scientists will grumble about, it's a lack of funds.)

Next there's the cost of production. This may require the building of entire factories - and of course there are distribution cost etc to consider also.

Finally, it's always a question of being "in the right place at the right time".
Does anyone really need or want the invention? Sadly, many ideas only get off the ground as a result of war, to fulfill some role as an instrument of destruction. The aircraft is a case in point. The Wright's aircraft never really "got off the ground" as a commercial success, until both the French Army and the American Army Signal Corps had decided perhaps an aircraft could be a useful thing.

But there's one vital aspect of all this that we tend to miss. Personality.

One person will succeed where another fails. And whether you're considering money, being "in the right place at the right time", or just whether the invention itself will even work, the inventor's personality has a lot to do with it.

So what makes the difference between a hero and a hermit?



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