25 Greatest Business Innovations of All Time

3 of 26

2700 B.C.: The Abacus

Money made large financial transactions possible, creating a need to quickly and easily calculate the amounts of goods and money being transacted. The first abacus was invented in Sumeria, but reached perfection in China.

Fun fact: Until around 1950s, a well-trained abacus-wielder could outperform an accountant with an adding machine.