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wundayatta's avatar

Do you have any examples of good ideas that were around a long time before being implemented?

Asked by wundayatta (58329 points ) September 27th, 2012

How long does it seem like good ideas have to be around before they finally get implemented? I know that a quarter century ago, I was working on one good idea that I see highlighted in my paper, today.

Community health workers are designed to advocate for people’s health needs in the community. This enables folks to get care sooner and in a more effective setting, rather than waiting until they are sicker and end up in the expensive emergency room. A hospital in Philadelphia is implementing this program now, because the Affordable Care Act is changing the way hospitals get paid. If they see a patient twice in a certain number of days for the same issue, they won’t get paid the second time.

This is something that private health insurance probably couldn’t do. It would require collaboration between competing health plans, which would likely be illegal under anti-trust legislation.

Back in the day when I first learned of this idea, I was working on single payer reform. A program like community health workers is facilitated by active government participation in the health insurance arena. I don’t know if it is possible, otherwise. It’s been at least 25 years, and probably longer since I’m sure the idea wasn’t new when I learned about it.

Do you know of other ideas with such long gestation periods? Not just in health care, but technologies or anything, really. I’m trying to see whether this is a standard pattern, and it just takes a long time for ideas to become reality, or if some ideas get picked up faster than others or what.

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7 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Helicopters by Da Vinci took about four hundred years.

It needed lightweight power-plant / engine.

ragingloli's avatar

Communism still has not been implemented.

gailcalled's avatar

Knocking the corners off of those square wheels took ages.

Blondesjon's avatar

In all seriousness . . . blowjobs.

thank you ‘guy who asked first’ and god bless you ‘first woman to agree’

cookieman's avatar

Leone Battista Alberti wrote his ideas on color theory around 1435. It took until the 18th century until the RYB (red, yellow, blue) subtractive color model was developed.

It wasn’t until the 19th century that the RGB (red, green, blue) additive color model was developed.

The CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) subtractive system was also developed in the 19th century, effectively replacing RYB.

RGB and CMYK are still used today for light-based and pigment-based media respectively.

gailcalled's avatar

^^^I would have expected you to adulate the chocolate chip, when it finally arrived. A morsel that remains intact inside the cookie after baking is a true miracle and much more interesting than the helicopter.

SABOTEUR's avatar

Video email.

Don’t know who came up with the original idea, but it was “network marketed” several years before smart phones emerged.

The relative ease of using video over several platforms made the cumbersome process of inserting video into email obsolete.

Not so long ago was the invention of the electronic cigarette (2003), which is rapidly becoming a preferred alternative to smoking tobacco products.

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