Why great inventions may need a village, but often a family

In the early morning hours of Aug. 5, 1888, Bertha Benz – yes, the Benz in Mercedes-Benz –  and her two teenage sons rolled the first patented horseless carriage onto the drive outside their home in Mannheim, Germany. Unbeknownst to her husband, Karl, Bertha was taking his three-wheeled contraption on a 60-mile journey that would later become known as the automobile’s very first road trip.

The trip was significant for several reasons, write Brad Smith, Microsoft president, and Carol Ann Browne, Microsoft director of executive communications, in the new “Today in Technology” series on LinkedIn.

Bertha Benz had financed her husband’s car operation with her dowry. She knew the innovative car needed to capture the public’s attention and that by being out on the road with it, it would garner lots of interest. Bertha’s road trip did, indeed, make headlines around the world, setting the stage for a new era of motorized transportation and the future success of the Mercedes-Benz motor company, Smith and Browne write.

“Her drive more than a century ago reminds us that innovation takes a village, or at least a family in Mercedes-Benz’s case,” write Smith and Browne. “And it shows us the opportunities for future innovation that come from bringing more diversity and an inclusive and creative workplace to the world of technology.”

Read the full post on LinkedIn.


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