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build a better mousetrap

To invent something that improves upon an existing object or concept. You don't have to try so hard to build a better mousetrap—just design what interests you and see what happens.
See also: better, build, mousetrap

build a better mousetrap

to develop or invent something superior to a device that is widely used. (From the old saying, "If you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door.") Harry thought he could build a better mousetrap, but everything he "invented" had already been thought of.
See also: better, build, mousetrap

a better mousetrap

an improved version of a well-known article.
This expression comes from an observation attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1889 , though also claimed by Elbert Hubbard : ‘If a man write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mousetrap than his neighbour, tho' he build his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door’.
See also: better, mousetrap
References in periodicals archive ?
Michael Fenner in the 60th anniversary tour of The Mousetrap
The Mousetrap reaches its own Diamond Jubilee on November 25, while Karl celebrates his 60th birthday next year, which made it impossible for him to turn down The Mousetrap.
I went to The Mousetrap several times with her in varying company - family parties, girl-friends, and the Eton cricket team when I was captain in 1962.
Potential licensees in the pest control products industry are currently being targeted as candidates to commercialize the Multi Rat Mousetrap on a worldwide basis.
The letter sent from Bermuda and dated September 1957 holds the message: "Dear Agatha Christie, much as it pains me I really must congratulate you on The Mousetrap breaking the long run record.
I was reminded of Hoback's "mousetrap" line recently when I heard an interview with the head of product development at the Victor company, the dominant mousetrap manufacturer for generations.
Our Golden Mousetrap Awards give innovators the recognition they
Carefully pull back the mousetrap lever (watch your fingers
Building a better mousetrap can be a daunting task, especially since the one on the market since 1897 already has a kill rate of 80%-plus, which in itself would seem impossible to surpass.
One biochemist, Michael Behe, uses a mousetrap as an example: One piece added to a partial mousetrap does not produce any useful ability.
Through our magazine and our other outlets, we will continue to identify the young entrepreneur who has, indeed, discovered how to build the better mousetrap.
While some expensive car security systems are being circumvented by criminals, an increasing number of motorists are turning to the Gumede Mousetrap immobiliser as a cheaper, more effective alternative.
Collectively, the disparate projects argue that avant-garde design today isn't about building a better mousetrap but questioning the need to trap mice in the first place.
During the past 50 years, always with a goal of "building a better mousetrap," Foster has used his innovative spirit to create material handling equipment for customers throughout the world.
It is also about understanding how the mousetrap, old or new, creates value.