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Every once in a while, we see photos of people, most times young people, who come up with “inventions” on their own.
These photos usually rouse applause. Sometimes, government officials identify with the individual, applauding their effort and pledging to encourage and support same. Such photos impresses everyone and we all resound how much genius lies within us, unexploited.
I would not lie, I join in the applause too, at least let it not be that I’m the witch, but really, what exactly is it we are applauding?
Just incase I was not descriptive enough, you know how we clap for the young chap who creates a battery that powers, let’s say, a lantern or even a motorcycle or car, we have seen prototype of Tricycles, some students in Alma mater even built a car, abi was it just the engine, and it was the highlight of that year’s Science Fair.
Well, all these are commendable. I agree, but mehn, when was the first battery built?
Or the first car engine or the first Tricycle, when?
A casual Google search will furnish you the answers. But here we are, design of prototypes of these things is making headline. These are inventions that had already gained worldwide recognition. Their inventors had eked out their framework, saw them through sketch and skeletal form and made them into something that has gained public value and recognition.
Do you know what it is to bring something that was literally not in existence into existence? Let’s take for instance, Toasting machine, imagine what it took to convince people to burn their bread a little bit because it gives this better taste. Let’s say they believe you that burnt bread can be cool, anyone can easily throw their bread into a pan and burn it optimally. Or even roast it over open fire. Why need a machine for that?
Yet, someone had to convince them to accept a bread-burning machine he or she invented. Let’s try another instance, camera and photography. Imagine introducing the very idea of “copying” people on paper. Why? When we can see each other and remember. Photography must have seemed redundant. But someone or some people managed to convince us all that it was important. I can give endless instances; telephone, television, computer- desktop and laptops, etc. Humanity had functioned just fine before someone showed them what they were missing and everyone embraced the invention.
Boom! Money is made and people become rich. What then is the prospect of coming up with the same thing tens and even hundreds of years after and everyone gives a round of applause. How? To what end?
Worse still, these our “inventions” do not come with improvements. In fact, they come less than they are already known for. The only way we are able to “recognize” them is because they are put out as a fragment of what we already know. Without the furnishing, aesthetics, such things can hardly break into any market. Moreso, if it’s a new invention, meaning no one has ever seen or heard of it before, except the person who invented it. If they were new inventions, they wouldn’t even break into the market that way.
Inventions are novel. They are worthwhile. Anything less, wouldn’t fetch a dime. The money comes with the patent and mass production. There’s no money to earn from something its patent right had been locked down a long time ago.We decry lack of investors. Which investor will throw in money into a project that has already fetched others a windfall a long time ago? Well, probably a stupid one who is utterly disinterested in making money.
These things are not even done in the guise of Reverse Engineering. At best, it can be said that these our Champs gained insight or cracked a nut someone, somewhere had already cracked very many years ago.
It’s an old world, but infinite inventions can be made in almost all spheres; IT, medicine, engineering, literature, fashion, etc. The next big thing can be you.
As a people, we have a very long way to go. I agree, our environment is not the most enabling, but even in primitive times and societies, minds have stumbled on great things. It’s important we rouse our minds. You know what they say; necessity is the mother of invention. Given the level of deprivation in our society, we should be pushed to many inventions, new inventions. Even if it’s peculiar to our immediate society only.Tags: Ezinne Arua, Invention