Invention isn’t magic: it’s mess and mistakes

Posted on Jan 22, 2003

Celebrated inventor Dean Kamen (best known recently for his creation of the Segway Human Transporter, a personal transportation gyroscopic scooter) says there’s no magic in invention, just mess: “It’s not some fundamental magic. The invention process is incredibly messy. It’s incredibly frustrating. You go around, bump into the wall, try another place, bump into another wall, do a little more, bump into the same wall again, and say, ‘Geez, I’ve been here before. What’s wrong?’ … We learn to deal with failure, and deal with frustration. I have been, for most of my life, walking around the world and kissing frogs. Most of the time, when you kiss a frog, you get a wart; every once in a while, it turns into a prince or a princess.” So you need to kiss a lot of frogs. Sounds pretty simple. Try it. (ABC News 4 Jan 2003)

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