What if Gutenburg didn’t invent the printing press?

Both Newton and Leibniz invented calculus.

Both Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace discovered the theory of evolution.

Oxygen was discovered simultaneously by Joseph Priestly and Carl Wilhelm Schlee.

Two Frenchmen invented colour photography in the same year.

Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray, both filed a patent for the telephone on the same day – 14 February, 1876.

At least 13 inventors other than Thomas Edison filed a patent for a glowing filament in a bulb of glass.

So if Johannes Gutenberg didn’t invent movable type printing, we would still have books because somebody else would have.

Most inventions are inevitable products of their time – an inventor mainly gets to put their stamp on it first. This isn’t to take anything away from inventors – they were all brilliant people. But the world has never been short of brilliant people.

If we have a good idea, chances are that it isn’t original. We are all better off sharing it with the world and finding the others rather than keeping it a secret.

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