Tuesday, February 05, 2013

The Top 10 Innovations of All Time?

Innovation Excellence's Braden Kelley ranks his top 10 innovations of all time and I don't disagree with either his rankings or the rationale behind them.

Accelerating Innovation Requires Accelerating Knowledge and Insight

...It is my contention that the pace of innovation accelerates when the speed of knowledge sharing accelerates, that knowledge acceleration leads to innovation acceleration. As we have developed more efficient ways of accelerating the pace of knowledge sharing, our pace of innovation has sped up.

It is shocking to think that if you go back only two hundred years as a species we had no idea how disease was transmitted, couldn’t send a message from one side of an ocean to another without using a ship, and that most human beings on this planet would not travel farther than 50 miles from the place of their birth during their lifetime.
Now we can travel to outer space, levitate objects using sound or magnetism, create life, destroy whole cities in an instant, build things smaller than the width of a human hair, and do some other things that even twenty years ago would have seemed impossible...

...We are inventing and innovating today at an astonishing rate, and for companies or nations that want to outpace their competition, they should be laser-focused on accelerating the pace of knowledge sharing if they are intent on being faster and more efficient than their competition at innovation... It is because of these important linkages that I believe the below ten items are the Top 10 Innovations of All Time:

  1. Paper (105AD – Europe 10th century – Germany 1400)
  2. Printing Press (1450)
  3. Telegraph (1837)
  4. Telephone (1876)
  5. Modern Public Library (1850-1945 depending on country)
  6. Commercial Radio (1920)
  7. Commercial Television (1936 UK, 1948 US)
  8. World Wide Web (1991)
  9. Wikipedia (2001)
  10. YouTube (2005)

Kelley includes some cautionary notes about over-reliance on technology. But the theme is clear.

"Information diffusion" -- transforming the methods by which ideas are disseminated and thereby accelerating human collaboration -- is the meta-innovation that facilitates nearly all other useful inventions.

Hat tip: BadBlue Tech News.


Anonymous said...

Ditch "Modern Public Library" (what a goofy choice,) and add

3. Double-entry bookkeeping.

The Telephone isn't that much dissimilar from the Telegraph so there's another rank for something else.

Ditto Radio / TV.

YouTube? Really? How about "no?"

Digital encoding pretty much covers all video and audio on the web.

Jefferson Ohio said...

On the flip side, I think television and the WWW have led to the moral decline of society.

How about the harnessing of electricity?

Interesting topic...

Carrstone said...

On every committee of wise men and experts reserve a mandatory seat for a red-neck whose role would be to say, at odd moments, "Now wait a minute ..."

It seems to me that there may be a direct correlation between the growth of inventiveness and the waning of religiosity.