essay prompt =
"It is always an individual who is the impetus for innovation; the details may be worked out by a team, but true innovation results from the enterprise and unique perception of an individual."
It is true that ideas from one person may be molded and shaped by others, but the seminal idea must originate from somewhere and it is this individual's concept that drives innovation.
"If you can imagine it – it will be possible" it's not only a catchy slogan for slick advertisers to use when selling products that tap into the creative drive of humanity, but also a reality that has driven inventors for centuries. From the first person who wished to ford an stream that was too impossibly cold or deep to wade through, to the person able to toil at work late into the night under an incandescent lamp. All the beginnings of such realities, that we call common place today, began with the thoughts of a lone individual.
In the case of the frigid waters, one can imagine the sole human standing on the banks of an ancient river wishing to pass over, for whatever treasures they knew of or imagined, on the other shore. The sight of a log floating by may have been the impetus for the first wooden canoe, or it could have been a bloated animal floating by that set the stage for even lighter water craft made from leather. In either case, naught would have come from such sights had not the person been dreaming by the shore of what could be. This idea may have returned to a village of others who assisted with design, prototypes and test runs, yet the original thought began with that dreamer on the wrong shore.
Today we think little of spending hours awake at night, busy with activities made possible due to light generated by electric lamps. However, were it not for the inquisitive mind of Thomas Edison who invented the light bulb, we may still have our activities largely dictated by natural light or fire. Though it is possible another may have arrived at Edison's discovery, we would still be indebted to the imagination of that one person. Today, there are many forms of the light bulb. The average North American household can easily boast a collection of them, ranging from halogens in pot lights, disseminating brilliance on art works; led's, that illuminate houses during the darkest months; and fluorescent bulbs that assist us with our toiling in the garage over a work bench. Each example represents the addition of layers of detail that the original concept was planned to deliver.
In short, the creative spirit of humanity drives us into the future, the road behind paved with the brilliance of other imaginations. We are not only able to cross rivers, but oceans. Details of how a larger vessel design would work on the seas were built by minds adding to the first river crossing concept. Though Edison's contributions, we are able to plan for tomorrows delights late into the evening. All due to the perception of lone individuals who shared ideas and had them expanded upon.