History is a fickle thing. I've known this for quite some time, but ever since I became a full fledged history nerd, it's been hitting me more often. People only remember those who have basically forced history to remember them. Two things happened to all the so called inventors; either they invented an impractical idea that had potential, or they didn't know how to market their practical idea. Light bulbs, telephones, and cars are all great ideas, but they all started out really impractically. Light bulbs wouldn't stay lit for long at all, telephones hardly worked at all, and cars took a really long time to make and were pretty dang expensive. It took Edison, Bell, and Ford to change the face of these inventions, and in the process, make them their own. Several men claimed to have had successful flights in heavier than air machines before the Wright Brothers in 1903, but even if they did, they lacked something very important: proof. The Wright Brothers were the first ones to get one going and to have photo proof of it. Plus they patented the hell out of the plane design. If you couldn't work the patent system back then, you lost. That's why Edison has so many claims on so many inventions. He knew how to work the system, and there's probably a few inventions of his that aren't even his at all.
When anyone thinks of an MP3 player, they think of an Ipod. Plain and simple. Did Steve Jobs invent the MP3 player? No, but he made an extremely attractive and practical one. Apple knows how to market their products, which is why tablets and MP3 players that are not Apple are almost always considered inferior. Who invented the MP3 player? Who cares, because we have someone that gave us the perfect end product. We celebrate Jobs, Gates, Ford, and Edison, not the no names who truly invented the products. So, if you do end up inventing something, please patent the hell out of it quick, and make sure its so awesome that no one will even try to make it better because it is truly at the zenith. That's right, I finally used zenith in a sentence. Oh, and prepare for lawsuits, because that's exactly what all of the innovators had to go through. People like Bell, Edison, the Wright Brothers, and Eli Whitney all had to go through long court battles just to keep their names in the history book. Oh, and one last thing: Al Gore did not invent the internet, apparently that British guy in the opening ceremony of the Olympics did. So, mystery solved.