Rory Sutherland wrote a column for The Spectator titled Why our greatest inventors are supreme hucksters.

« Most people think the principal obstacles to economic and technological growth are all about supply. To me, it’s all in the demand.  I have met one Italian economist, Mario Fabbri [author of The Imaginary Economy], who agrees. But apart from him, me and maybe Matt Ridley [author of How Innovation Works], there’s nobody else. »

« Lucky technologies are heavily hyped when they are already useful. »

Conversely: « a year or two before the LED light became good, the government made us replace our incandescent bulbs with an appalling intermediate technology which took half an hour to reach a tolerable level of luminosity. Instead of a breakthrough, we experienced a setback. »

« The importance of generating hype alongside meaningful improvements may explain why many of our greatest inventors — Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and Thomas Alva — are supreme hucksters. The ability to create the hype alongside the invention may be decisive. »

Rory Sutherland is author of Alchemy. The US-edition subtitle is The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life.

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