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Sometimes the best thing that can happen to an inventor is for him to be ignored.
Take for example German archery enthusiast Jörg Sprave. He pitched his bow designs to manufacturers for years. None purchased his plans. But Sprave did not idly wait for broader success. He continued to iterate until building something he wished he had thought of years ago.
There are many examples of engineers, artists, and other creators who benefited from a period of obscurity. Rather than share their first ideas, they could share their best ideas.
Which innovators or inventions spring to your mind?