I've been thinking more about this thread, and I must say I disagree with the basic premise. i see the evolution of "gear" or electronics ro whatever, as just that-evolution. Nature moves us forwards in one of two ways. Most commonly nature evolves, that is, many hundreds if not thousands of gradual changes that, taken one at a time, don't make much difference, but taken on the whole it leads to new species and niches being filled. This is evolution at it's most successful because it takes something that already works, and makes it work better. Then there is cataclysmic selection. This is not evolution as such, it is more like when the dinosaurs died out and left room for warm-blooded mammals. The warm-blooded mammals were already around, they were just waiting for a niche to open up. This is a much riskier method of 'evolving' as it is often all-or-nothing, and most of the time the hoped for niche doesn't open up and the beast goes extinct.
If I know nothing about MYOG, should I go buy a second hand sewing machine and figure out how to use it, spend a few months or years working out what kinds of seams work best in which situations, (through trial and error) and buying swags of material to weigh and test for UL, tear resistance, water resistance, stretch, comfort and breathability etc...and then try to make a shelter out of it, not knowing anything about how forces are transferred, how to reinforce important bits, how big to make it etc...or maybe ditch the sewing machine and do it all by hand sewing like our ancestors, maybe make it out of reindeer pelts?
Naaaah. I will take what's already known on the subject, and apply it to my own end goals. I will modify it as needed, or if I'm a complete noob I'll follow the directions as best I can and make important mistakes that I will learn from. This process does not stop me from also coming up with a Eureka idea, but the fact is most of us don't have a lot of those Eureka moments, so tweaking and slowly evolving a design is the next best (and proven) approach.
Or as others have pointed out correctly, why reinvent the wheel? Our strength as a species is that we can learn from others endeavors, both their successes and failures, rather than having to make the same mistakes all over again. Following roughly in others footsteps is not lazy, it is often smart. OTOH, to follow blindly without asking why is stupid...