build a better mousetrap


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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

better mousetrap, (if one can) build a

A minor but important improvement will bring fame and fortune. This idea came from a speech Ralph Waldo Emerson made in 1871 and quoted (or misquoted) by Mrs. Sarah S. B. Yule. Emerson allegedly said, “If a man can write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mousetrap than his neighbor . . . the world will make a beaten path to his door.”
See also: better, build, one
References in periodicals archive ?
The saying is, "Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door." That quote has been attributed (without adequate documentation) to Ralph Waldo Emerson.
You've heard the adage: "If you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door." Widely employed as a metaphor for invention and innovation, the mousetrap grabs hold of the truth.
Ralph Waldo Emerson quipped, "Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door." Even some of Bristol's fiercest competitors concede privately that Winchester Industries has, indeed, built a better mousetrap.
"It's the indies that are the ones who figure out how to build a better mousetrap," he says.
"With Avanse(TM) MV-100, our chemists started thinking about how to build a better mousetrap," explains Calabrese.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said that if you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door.
IN TECHNOLOGY, IT'S NOT ENOUGH TO build a better mousetrap. So what separates the dreamer from the innovator?
I suspect it's American in origin, and it was certainly an American, Ralph Waldo Emerson, who shaped that inventor's mantra: "If you can build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door."
Part of the problem is that the development industry suffers from what I call the "better mousetrap syndrome", the belief that if you build a better mousetrap the world will beat a path to your door.
"We've stretched technology," touted Markham, citing "a tensile strength that equals any radial tire on the road." Over the years, he's learned a lesson: "You hear the story: You build a better mousetrap and they'll beat a path to your door.
Build a better mousetrap and someone will come along and gripe about how we don't need any more mousetraps.
If someone feels that he can build a better mousetrap than his employer wants to make, he can find a way to make it, market it, and perhaps put his former boss out of business.
The new package featuring the [Picklevator.sup.TM], a serving basket inside the pickle jar that enables consumers to lift and remove the pickles easily, was one of only ten packaged goods to be presented with the 1999 Build a Better Mousetrap Award after consideration of almost 26,000 new product entries.
Later, someone decided that a shorter, snappier version looked and sounded better, and today we have--incorrectly attributed to Emerson"Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door." Well, it does have a certain Madison Avenue pizazz.
"The only way to create value is to take risk, but you have to build a better mousetrap as well," says Primo.