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It's not just the speed of change in technological innovation today; it's also the pace of adoption of technology that is remarkable. Gutenberg is credited with inventing the printing press around 1436. His print run of 200 copies of the Bible took 3 years to produce. Within a few decades, the printing press had changed the world. A fascinating chart here illustrates the number of years it took for different technologies in the 19th and 20th centuries to be used by one-quarter of the American population. The telephone took 35 years, the radio took 31 years, and the television took 26 years.

Remarkably, in 2022/2023, Chat GPT is estimated to have reached 100 million monthly users (global) in just 2 months. It's certainly not an apples-to-apples comparison, but remarkable nonetheless.

The pendulum clock was invented in 1656, making it pretty old technology. But do you think you could make one yourself today with only the same resources that were available in 1656? No internet, no phone, no Amazon delivery, and no trip to the local hardware store. I know I certainly couldn’t. Therefore, much of what we create and make today is made possible, in large part, by building upon or utilizing other existing technology, resources, and information.

Try selling a car with no cup holders to a family with kids. Imagine an automobile manufacturer thinking they're only in the business of providing transportation and therefore need not concern themselves with cup holders. It's not about the cup holder in and of itself, it's about the means to alleviate a challenge that appears while using your product. Whatever your product or service, are there seemingly extraneous but essential utilities that your customers expect from you? Furthermore, are there utilities that they don't yet expect from existing products that you could introduce? Cars didn't always come with pre-installed cup holders. But now that they do, it's expected.

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