Most people have seen pictures of some of the original portable phones. Big boxy handsets, the size of a textbook, or a briefcase sized power unit attached to a corded handset, these are what people think were the forerunners to the modern cell phones. But what if I were to tell you that commercial mobile phone service actually started in 1949, and in 1961, 12 years before Motorola would introduce their textbook sized phone, there was a handheld mobile phone that could fit in the palm of your hand and weighed only 70 grams, about half the weight of an iPhone 5? You'd probably end up asking "What happened?"
The history of inventions and innovations for so long has mostly rested on the whim of large corporations, with the inventor rarely having a say in what decision was made. In the case of the phone from 1961, it was developed by a Russian engineer working for the government. In having to choose between funding that or an automobile based mobile phone technology, they went with the car.
Imagine how differently history might have turned out. It is almost frightening to consider, but the truth is such an advance in technology could have altered the way the Cold War turned out, thereby reshaping almost everything that is now true about society. All because one small invention did not have the opportunity to be produced and marketed.
Today it is a much different world. Inventions do not just come from government laboratories and corporate headquarters. They come from innovators working in their dorm room or their den, trying to find a newer and better way to do something. Thanks to affordable technology that is accessible to anyone, like 3-D printers, anyone who has a dream can try to make it come true on their own. Unfortunately at that point, most inventors will have the same problem Leonid Kupriyanovich had when he introduced his phone 54 years ago: how to get it to the people that want it?
Thankfully, the same technology that allows inventors to work anywhere also allows people the opportunity to create start-up companies and take their product straight to the audience. Social media platforms and apps can help the innovators find their target audience. Now, instead of having to face the costly and time consuming process of advertising, marketing and consumer trials, products can be produced, released and even peer reviewed to make sure they are working as good as they can.
The next time you have an idea about how you think you can improve on something, do not just write it off and think that no one will be interested, no matter how small it may be. The opportunity exists for people to get to know your invention, and one little invention could change how the whole world lives.
http://www.thejumpstarters.com Jack Terry is a freelance lifestyle and business writer who trends emerging patterns in start-up businesses and personal inventions.