Yeah I tend to believe that. Researching through history, it seems that there is a “spirit of the times” and the same idea will show up in a LOT OF people’s heads at around the same time.
It kinda makes sense. We live in shared cultures… exposed to similar influences… it makes sense that there would be a “right time” for a particular idea or a particular set of words to pop up in multiple brains simultaneously.
My least favorite but most memorable is when I invented a surround-the-car system with cheap little cameras and cheap little color LCD displays.
I was so proud of myself – this is back in 1999.
I sketched it out, studied how to get a patent – EVERYTHING. Until it came time for $$$.
I thought, “Lemme just make sure someone else didn’t do it first, but I’m 100% CERTAIN THAT i’M THE FIRST!”
Well, six months before me, a japanese dude in California working for a tech company patented it before me.
SIX MONTHS, he beat me by.
Well, that was the last time I tried to patent something and that’s when it really “hit home” that many people can be completely original at the same time while also having the exact same idea.
[even the guys DRAWINGS were just like mine. UGH. I looked at it again last year… and saw how freakin’ revolutionary it was and he’s undoubtedly super-rich. But… no jealousy.. no envy.. that’s just how it is.. just how it is… just how it is…. [yeah, I’m still consoling myself over it ]