Cumulative technological culture refers to the increase in the efficiency and complexity of tools and techniques in human populations over generations. A fascinating question is to understand the cognitive origins of this phenomenon. Because cumulative technological culture is definitely a social phenomenon, most accounts have suggested a series of cognitive mechanisms oriented toward the social dimension (e.g., teaching, imitation, theory of mind, metacognition), thereby minimizing the technical dimension and the potential influence of non-social, cognitive skills. What if we have failed to see the elephant in the room? What if social cognitive mechanisms were only catalyzing factors and not the sufficient and necessary conditions for the emergence of cumulative technological culture? In this article, we offer an alternative, unified cognitive approach to this phenomenon by assuming that cumulative technological culture originates in non-social cognitive skills, namely technical-reasoning skills which enable humans to develop the technical potential necessary to constantly acquire and improve technical information. This leads us to discuss how theory of mind and metacognition, in concert with technical reasoning, can help boost cumulative technological culture. The cognitive approach developed here opens up promising new avenues for reinterpreting classical issues (e.g., innovation, emulation versus imitation, social versus asocial learning, cooperation, teaching, overimitation) in a field that has so far been largely dominated by other disciplines, such as evolutionary biology, mathematics, anthropology, archaeology, economics, and philosophy.