As many of you who follow my blog know, I’m a huge Scrabble game fan. I often rearrange my busy schedule to block out time to play – 3, 4, 5…even up to 7 times in a week. The sport of randomly selecting seven tiles, creating words (and add-ons), then strategically positioning what I’ve created or discovered onto a board to catapult my score brings me great joy… a joy that can frustrate others. I practice; I continually create, explore, and research words (especially weird words); I dance with words (often cutting in and trading dance partners) – synonyms, antonyms, homonyms. I’ve declared the thesaurus my almighty Holy Grail. The game is truly an ideal environment for me to engage in the sport of word creation and to test and hone my skills. Finding other players who are up for the challenge, though, can sometimes be difficult…and the attrition rate of frustrated opponents is often quite high.
Given all this, you can well imagine my delight when I stumbled upon the history of Scrabble (except for the definition of Scrabble which I’m a bit more comfortable with defined elsewhere as “to scratch fanatically”).
Although somewhat of a sad story, Mr. Butts style reflects, demonstrates and represents the true work of an honest, dedicated inventor – a genius of sorts – who was clearly willing to invest the time required to honestly research and invent a new product. I admire these folks…and often wonder if this type of individual still exists – an individual who is willing to put the work in to truly enhance and make a difference in the lives of others (and hopefully generate a bit of cash for themselves in the process).
As is the norm for me, these findings naturally led me down several different exploratory paths. I’ve shared a few of my wanderings below:
- Do true inventors still exist? Is it fair/justified to assign the title of “inventor” or give credit and fame to those individuals who re-mix, morph or simply identify different uses or purposes for an existing product or a previous invention?
- Is the process or art of having a “new” product “stick” in the marketplace simply random coincidence? Or, is a certain amount of work still required/necessary to ensure successful product acceptance in the marketplace?
- Has the well-tested and seasoned science of marketing changed much over the years or is a delusional denial occurring that attempts to portray a new or unique method/process when the only change is in how we convey our message?
Traveling down and exploring each of these complex issues and somewhat divergent paths with any depth in one blog presents a challenge…so, I’m going to let the ideas gel and work on investigating and articulating my thoughts and outcomes over the next several weeks/blogs.
To start us off (and close this week’s blog), I share a quote by Mark Twain which offers intriguing and somewhat entertaining observation/insight:
“There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.” Mark Twain, a Biography by Albert Bigelow Paine
Until next time…
© 2013 EM Carlock
The Write Resources, LLC™