Way back in 2006, I gave a presentation that I titled "Prior Art and the Turtle". It had to do with the development of open source software but it could apply to any number of human endeavours where we build on the work of those who came before us. I've attached the slides as images.
When we talk about how wonderful the community development model of open source software is, someone invariably quotes Isaac Newton from 1676.
"If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."