There are six thousand years of history between the invention of the wheel and the wheeled suitcase. Billions of people spent billions of hours driving wheeled vehicles to the airport where they lugged heavy luggage toward wheeled airplanes.
We put a man on the moon in 1969 but didn’t connect the dots between the wheel and suitcase until 1987.
There’s an unfortunate tendency among creatives and “thinkers” to write off the simple as trivial. Our society searches for “disruptive” innovation and celebrates the grandiose, the “newsworthy,” and the complicated.
The moon landing was one giant step for mankind, yet one could argue that the wheeled suitcase has had more of an impact on day-to-day life for human beings.
To make an impact, we don’t need to pull outer-worldly ideas out of thin air. Being creative isn’t just about dreaming up what has never been done or said. It’s about taking what’s already available and making it better. A creative eye sees what’s hidden in plain sight.
With the level of innovation and technology we have, it’s easy to believe that everything worth discovering has been discovered. We’ve conquered the west, circumnavigated the globe, and have now set our sights on other planets. Are there any secrets left to uncover?
Here’s a secret:
Opportunities to change the world may visit us through surreal visuals in the night, delivered by muses from other dimensions. But more often than not, they are already here, camouflaged by the obvious, waiting for the right person to realize that the best ideas come from the simplest of things.
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Source notes: Insights on the invention of the wheel and wheeled suitcase come from chapter 13 of Antifragile, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb