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.

The opposite is also true

We all have great ideas sometimes.

People with a scarcity mindset believe good ideas are rare, and they need to be hoarded. When one such person has a fantastic idea, they will protect it and keep it a secret. But since their idea isn’t exposed to the world outside, they receive no feedback. No community builds around it, and this idea doesn’t multiply or gain traction since it isn’t shared. This only confirms their belief that great ideas are rare.

People with an abundance mindset believe that good ideas are aplenty, and they need to be shared. Such a person will share good idea with the world. The world responds either by ignoring it, or by grooving with it, sharing it and improving it. A community builds around this idea. It merges with other ideas to give birth to new ones. It is only a matter of time before the same person has another great idea.

It is true that great ideas are rare. It is also true that they are abundant. You get to choose.