I came across a good quote on innovation and invention in a 2004 article in Fortune Magazine by Harold Evans called “What Drives America’s Greatest Innovators“ (emphasis added)
[The] defining characteristic of the innovator: a determination to bring a brainwave into the bustle of the marketplace. […]
More innovations come from borrowing and combining than simple invention. “I invented nothing new,” Henry Ford said, “I simply assembled into a car discoveries of other men behind whom were centuries of work.” It sounds easy, but it emphasizes another quality more significant than originality: imagination as manifest in the ability to see relationships.
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