‘Everything that can be invented, has been invented’

You’ve probably never heard of Charles Holland Duell.

He was the commissioner of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and died in 1920.

So, unless you’re mega old or mega interested in patents, there’s no reason why you’d know him.

But, here’s his most famous quote – which was allegedly uttered in 1899:

“Everything that can be invented, has been invented”

(Historians and the like have made several attempts to prove that he didn’t actually say this – for the sake of the post, let’s say he did).

Now, as I look around a world where AI and robots are becoming part of every day life, I can’t help but wonder…where will we go next? Where will it end?

And, most importantly, are we happier?

But those are questions for another blog.

What is clear is that, as creatives, we need to make sure that we’re not like Duell – we can never stop thinking about the future and the next step.

Imagination drives innovation, so don’t kerb it. Everything that can be invented hasn’t been invented yet.