Perhaps the most ‘logical’ thing about the first typewriter patented back in 1714, was a keyboard with keys nicely positioned in alphabetical order in two rows. Sadly however, when certain commonly used key combinations were hit right after the other, the keys would jam and eventually so, did the dream of inventor Henry Mills.
It was not until 1872 when the familiar QWERTY letter arrangement was designed and successfully patented by Christopher Sholes. The purpose of this design was to prevent mechanical jams and as the typewriter with the QWERTY keyboard rose in popularity, people stopped complaining about the weird arrangement of keys, started memorizing the keyboard and learning how to type efficiently.
To many of us today the use of a conventional typewriter is a fond, but faded memory as modern day technology completely replaced this mechanical wonder of yesteryear. The concern for jamming keys has long gone, yet the QWERTY keyboard design is here to stay. Why so? Because humans are creatures of habit. Quoting John Dryden: “We first make our habits, then our habits make us”.
Having said that, QWERTY still works. For now. No need to fix what’s not broken. Yet maybe, just maybe, we need to pause more often to rethink the rationale and pragmatism of our indisputable custom of blindly following stale habits. Our shockingly high unemployment rate is screaming for change, entrepreneurship, business growth, prosperity – and Rebels. So, here’s to more brave and crazy ones recognizing the feasibility of the potential they can so clearly see – and refusing to believe that no one wants to know…