Society is held up by the hard-working and/or talented few. Not in an Ayn Rand way, but in a much more subtle way.
Look at smartphones. They existed before the iPhone. There were even some devices that looked like the iPhone before the iPhone. But it wasn't until the iPhone delivered a great smartphone experience that every other smartphone became like the iPhone.
It takes the outstanding few to lead the way, then everybody follows suite.
Another example, CGI films. Pixar didn't have to be the first; any of the huge computer companies like IBM, Intel, and so forth could have pioneered this field. But Pixar led the way and now pretty much every other CGI film is derived from the Pixar style or formula.
Same thing in engineering, math, science, art, and even business. The talented few lead the way, the rest kind of hovel along.