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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s