Train in Vain

29Apr14

Henry Ford is supposed to have said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” I don’t know or care if Henry Ford actually ever said that but I do like what the quote says about creativity and innovation. The truth in the quote is that real progress only comes when we stop making a thing do whatever it does better and start looking for a different ways to make the results better.

How many different audio, video and picture formats came and went (each one supposedly better that the last) before everything went digital? How many different gadgets (calculator, camera, personal organiser, voice recorder, watch) and paper, (notebook, diary, maps) did you carry around before EVERYTHING became an app on your phone?

And returning to the subject of speed, ocean liners used to compete to be the fastest to cross the Atlantic, now most people fly.

Right now the British government is planning a new high-speed railway from Birmingham to London that will shave twenty minutes off the journey time and will cost tax payers at least £50 billion.

They must have asked people what they wanted and got the answer “faster trains”.

Craic on!

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