I don’t know if you’ve noticed but for a few months now a sort of corporate street fight has been going on between Hachette Publishing and Amazon. I’m not going to actually take sides here, though I’m definitely on one side over the other, based on the publicly available information. God pretty much refuses to discuss the situation at all, let alone take a side.
What I do want to talk about though is the further devolution of the language that I’m seeing in this fight. Time and time again, I’m seeing articles that talk about Amazon’s contribution to the publishing ecosystem citing how valuable it was that they invented the Kindle.
And that’s what angers me. I hold inventing things in very high regard. Inventors, to my thinking, are probably the pinnacle of the human species.
The Kindle was not “invented.”
To invent something there has to be a spark. There has to be inspiration and a new way of seeing things or of doing things; there has to be uncharted territory, a path that isn’t visible. What was unclear with the Kindle was whether or not there was money to be made. It was unclear if the product could succeed. But it was never unclear if it could be made.
And don’t think I’m trying to put down the engineers that created the Kindle, engineering is noble and important, but creation, well creation is a pretty god-like ability. So full props to the engineers who created the Kindle, but my hat’s off to the inventors out there. May they never rest, never settle, and always love what they’re doing.