Fundamentals # 1972 Southampton
We are all brought up to believe that 'Necessity is the mother of invention' but, as Brian Locke has recently pointed out 'In a developed society invention is the father of necessity. If it were simply the other way round then r & d would not involve real planning. A need would merely arise as in primitive societies, and then await a solution that would take a longer or shorter time according to the ratio between difficulty and incentive. Even though costs increase rapidly from research via development to production and selling, if an invention follows demonstrable certainty of a market, the risks will always be minimal, and investment planning relatively straightforward. This happens only rarely, because the obvious invention has usually been made. Ordinarily, if an invention is to get anywhere someone must create a market need. This is why it is only worth making inventions that someone is going actually to use - and to pay for".
It follows that every active and fully developed invention with parental ambition is constantly on the look out for a nicely nubile bit of necessity, and, when the two get together, the natural result in due course is often a second generation of inventions and/or necessities.