Have you ever seen an invention that was so obvious and so simple to design and make and that you said to yourself, “I could have invented THAT?”
A generation ago, many would have said that about the roller bag.
Most business travelers traveling by air are usually accompanied by two things: a laptop and a roller bag. These inventions couldn’t be more different. The laptop is a miracle of 21st century hardware and software; the roller bag is simply an old invention ( a bag) attached to an even older invention (the wheel). Yet, the roller bag didn’t come into its own until the 1970’s and not in its present form until the 1980’s . Until then, people lugged heavy bags (that’s why it’s called “luggage”) through airports and elsewhere.
Why did such an obvious and useful innovation have to wait until we’d visited the moon and the personal computer had become common place?
A 3 minute video and this short article from CNN suggests some answers and shares the story of the slow invention and then widespread adoption of such a useful and successful invention.
Important lessons for those innovators and inventors who have an idea for a better mousetrap but don’t understand why market demand hasn’t discovered their supply.