Speaking at Inspirefest 2017, Bell Labs president Marcus Weldon argued that every successful invention has one true goal: to save time.

Leading Bell Labs is no easy task, with the 92-year-old company at the forefront of invention and innovation. Even though it has been lauded with Nobel prizes, national medals of science and technology, Grammys, Emmys and Oscars throughout its history, Weldon thinks of these awards as mere luck.

“We win them by accident,” he said. “What we try to do is solve the problems that confront humanity. How does humanity have to exist, or how should it exist, in the future?

“What is it that humans should be doing then, to live better existences? We look at the technical problems that exist, and we solve those. When you do that, you win Nobel prizes.”

When you find ways to save time, creating greater opportunities for humans to be productive elsewhere, you’re on to something special.

Words by Gordon Hunt