Arthur D. Little
Nowadays, R&D (Research & Development) is an indispensable part of business in the 21st century. But did you know that R&D began in the late-1800s?
It was then that Arthur D. Little began planting the seeds of what was to be the first consulting firm to provide R&D services to improve the private industry.
Arthur D. Little – Advice as a Marketable Service
At the dawn of the 20th century, industrialists and financiers in America were still reluctant to take a risk on business opportunities offered by new technology. But their European counterparts were quick to seize the advantage and set up operations in the US.
This prompted Little to aggressively campaign for the nation’s leaders to support the fledgling US chemical industry. While at MIT, Little had majored in chemistry (chemical engineering was, as yet, unheard of). And his stint as his college’s newspaper editor gave him the skills to be an effective spokesman for industrial research and an advocate for the education of chemical engineers.
He also put up a firm that combined R&D and expert advice – a revolutionary concept at the time – and marketed them as a valuable service indispensable in a booming industrial era.