There are a few more patents than there were in 1899. I’m not sure what the sentiment was that led to this comment but there is a point to be made for the innovator and the entrepreneur.
There’s a good chance that the solution to the problem you are trying to solve has been applied in some other context. One of the more interesting examples is an athletic shoe designer who applied an idea from a suspension bridge to solve a structure to weight problem.
Innovation is not necessarily about invention. Look around you. Look above, below and around the problem. Get a different perspective. Ask people outside the problem. You may find someone has probably already done the work for you.
BloggingGazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson