Where Does Technological Innovation Come From?

Technological innovation comes from many people around the world every single day.  Yet, it is rare to know the names of those who spawn the innovations that eventually reach market and change our lives.  Most people tend to only read headlines instead of history.  If you are one of them, you would think that true technological innovation is generated by a select handful of individuals sitting by themselves in a small garage in California.

There are many examples of a lone innovator scrawling an idea on a napkin or a piece of paper that becomes a billion dollar company, forever altering how we interact with the world. In fact, the current combined net worth of “The Big Four” (Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook) is somewhere north of $1.1 TRILLION dollars.  And they were all started with very little money and a single idea.  So how is it that we all know about the humble beginnings of innovators such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Larry Page, and Mark Zuckerberg?  Because their stories have been told so many times, they are now the stuff of legend.  Today, parents tell their children they can do the same thing as a tale of optimism, much the same way our parents used to tell us that we if we studied hard we could become the President of the United States.