I want to ask pretty much the question in the title with some side notes/hints for the context:
I don't mean first tools created by homo sapiens, I mean which societal or geographical developments led to first significant exponential growth of inventions (plausible are for instance wars between different tribes, tribal rivalry often creates/pressures technological advances)
Is there a steady exponential growth of inventions or was there after a first period of many inventions a decline or only linear growth. I don't know since when patent exists and are tracked/indexed.
The background of my question is that I would like to understand what actually thrives human ingenuity or humans to become ingenious, especially in the pre-industrial times and with existing larger tribes or societies, rather necessity, pressure, spare time, identification of geological sources or catalytic key technologies (nuclear fission)...
Do historians have a list/time of catalytic events in medieval history that led to sudden increased growth. One example