You don’t have to be first to win

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Jag kan inte svara i telefon just nu, men när du hör signalen: berätta vem du är och var jag kan nå dig, så ringer jag upp dig sen.

Creativity, know-how and originality do not automatically add up to success. Timing can be a major factor as well. Just ask the father of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, whose patent application in 1876 arrived at the US Patent Office a mere few hours before a practically identical application was filed by Elisha Gray.

If you ask his fellow inventor Antonio Meucci, he’d probably say that funding is the most important aspect of all. You see, Meucci invented the telephone in the 1850s and applied for a patent in 1871. But he couldn’t afford the patent registration fees.

It’s highly probable that Bell’s contribution to the history of the telephone was that he came across Meucci’s invention and applied for a patent in his own name.

(Texten publicerades ursprungligen i Sigmas Smartboken 2009.)

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