I went to see “The Founder“, a movie about the rise of McDonald’s as a franchise. A part of it was dedicated to explaining how the McDonald brothers came up with the concept of fast food. They created an entire line of custom kitchen tools, the layout for the burger assembly line and timed everything to the T. They got rid of servers and complicated menus. They created the concept of making food, before the order was made.
Only after I stepped out of the theater, it occurred to me: fast food had to be invented.
We can think of what was before automobiles, iPhones and space shuttles, but what was before graphical user interfaces, personal computers and surgeons washing hands? Invisible inventions are everywhere.
P.S. That movie taught me a great business lesson: ink on paper doesn’t mean bupkis if the other guy has an empire.