The earliest known button was discovered about 5 thousand years ago. It was made of a curved shell. At first, it was used more as an ornament than as a fastening. Fast forward 3 thousand years with the invention of the buttonhole buttons became functional.
It took civilization 2 thousand years to reimagine what the button could do. And from that moment the fabric of our society and fashion made a quantum leap.
The invention of the buttonhole provided us with the following
- A steady way of securing our clothes. Instead of having to drape ourselves in layers of cloth.
- Wear more fitted apparels that used less fabric.
- Garments could be designed to subtly reveal and to cover our bodies.
The result: We are able to move freely and more easily because our clothing stayed put. That newfound ability likely created a chain reaction for both creativity and productivity.
The lesson: Ask a better question about what it was designed for, to see what it could be for.
To make progress is to take a small step into the unknown, towards the foreign territory of the never been done before.