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  • I don't think necessity is the mother of invention — invention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness.

  • Those persons are happiest in this restless and mutable world who are in love with change, who delight in what is new simply because it differs from what is old; who rejoice in every innovation, and find a strange alert pleasure in all that is, and that has never been before.

    • Agnes Repplier,
    • "The Charm of the Familiar," Essays in Miniature ()
  • Innovations to which we are not committed are illuminating things.

    • Agnes Repplier,
    • "Conservative's Consolations," Points of Friction ()
  • At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done — then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago.

  • Fearlessness is the mother of reinvention.

  • So powerful, in fact, is simple string in taming the world to human will and ingenuity that I suspect it to be the unseen weapon that allowed the human race to conquer the earth, that enabled us to move out into every econiche on the globe during the Upper Palaeolithic. We could call it the String Revolution.

  • That's always the way when you discover something new; everybody thinks you're crazy.

    • Evelyn E. Smith,
    • "The Martian and the Magician," in Isaac Asimov, ed., Fifty Short Science Fiction Tales ()
  • ... great inventors and discoverers seem to have made their discoveries and inventions as it were by the way, in the course of their everyday life.

  • If you do something once, people will call it an accident. If you do it twice, they call it a coincidence. But do it a third time and you've just proven a natural law!

  • Developing a compiler was a logical move; but in matters like this, you don't run against logic — you run against people who can't change their minds.

  • If you ever have a new idea, and it's really new, you have to expect that it won't be widely accepted immediately. It's a long hard process.

    • Rosalyn Yalow,
    • in Lynn Gilbert and Gavlen Moore, Particular Passions: Talks With Women Who Have Shaped Our Times ()
  • 'Rules for Stifling Innovation': 1. Regard any new idea from below with suspicion — because it's new, and because it's from below. 2. Insist that people who need your approval to act first go through several other levels of management to get their signatures. 3. Ask departments or individuals to challenge and criticize each other's proposals. (That saves you the job of deciding; you just pick the survivor.) ... 10. And above all, never forget that you, the higher-ups, already know everything important about this business.

  • Every new fad or fashion at once has its denouncers from the pulpit, platform, professor's chair.

    • Alice Dunbar-Nelson,
    • 1926, in Gloria T. Hull, ed., The Works of Alice Dunbar-Nelson, vol. 2 ()
  • ... the development of society and culture depends upon a changing balance, maintained between those who innovate and those who conserve the status quo. Relentless, unchecked, and untested innovation would be a nightmare. ... If repetition and rigidity are the dark side of the conservative coin, loyalty and stability are its bright side.

  • One of the major challenges facing creative individuals is that of building upon the continuity of human knowledge while achieving novel insights. ... On the one hand, to intensify an inquiry and develop a sense of commitment to a creative life, the learner needs models, teachers, and collaborators. On the other hand, the individual, while building upon the past, needs to transform it, and thus broaden his or her choices.

  • ... by ignoring trends, you can sometimes create them!

  • Invention is the pleasure you give yourself when other people's stuff isn't good enough.

    • Julie Newmar,
    • in Ethlie Ann Vare and Greg Ptacek, Mothers of Invention ()
  • Innovators are inevitably controversial.