Many of us track the greatest thinkers in and out of the housing industry to catch a glimpse of how their success is relative to where success in housing will materialize. Here, a new angle is offered that may be the 'ah-ha' moment.

Great entrepreneurs and innovators can teach us many lessons. Here are a few.

On December 12, 1901, Guglielmo Marconi amazed the world when he sent and received the first wireless message across the Atlantic. The experts of the day believed that radio signals could only travel over a line-of-sight distance and that the curvature of the Earth would prevent the long distance use of radio.Marconi started his famous experiment with the most powerful radio transmitter then built in Poldhu Cornwall. He set up a radio receiver in Newfoundland with an aerial consisting of 500 feet of wire supported by kites. They waited three days before the signal – a Morse Code S – was received.

The news that radio waves had crossed the Atlantic was sensational. How could it be possible? What the experts (and Marconi) did not know was that there was a charged layer around the Earth called the ionosphere which could reflect radio waves.Within a year Marconi set up dependable radio communication with ships over 2,000 miles away. Eventually the Marconi Company linked the entire British Empire by radio.

Innovators do not trust experts
They do not trust theories, or models or spreadsheets. They trust real-life experiments. Marconi ignored all the authorities who declared that long distance radio signal transmission was impossible. He tried it and it worked.

Turn and face the strange
In 1954 the British government auctioned licences for commercial TV stations. These would be regional operations which could offer advertising on TV for the first time.

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