I am not sure if that is true. I think we are blinded by the sheer level of innovation over the last 300 years and the fruits of the scientific revolution.I think the point is that very few people, across the world, actually spurred on that innovation. And we still had large swaths of land/people where it didn't reach until very recently.
I think the earliest phases of the industrial revolution were a lot of craftsman innovation, relatively uninformed by the scientific revolution that was gathering pace alongside.
Then it kicks into high gear in the mid nineteenth century as scientific discoveries begin for inform industrial innovation and the process becomes a matter of deliberate engineering R&D than some clever clogs in a foundry spotting something.
Now after a multitude waves of innovation later and more to come it can be very hard to imagine how pre scientific/engineering innovation really happened.