Roger Bannister broke the mythical 4-minute mile barrier in 1954. (Source: Guardian UK)
Dean Kamen is no stranger to innovation.
He’s also no stranger to doubters and skeptics. People said the Segway was impossible, but Kamen disagreed, and he was right.
“Don’t tell me it’s impossible,” he says, “tell me you can’t do it.” “Tell me it’s never been done. Because the only real laws in this world–the only things we really know–are the two postulates of relativity, the three laws of Newton, the four laws of thermodynamics, and Maxwell’s equation–no, scratch that, the only things we really know are Maxwell’s equations, the three laws of Newton, the two postulates of relativity, and the periodic table. That’s all we know that’s true. All the rest are man’s laws…”
-From Esquire profile titled “How Dean Kamen’s Magical Water Machine Could Save the World“, December 2008.
Dean was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1997 for his biomedical devices and for making engineering more popular among high school students. He was later awarded the National Medal of Technology in 2000 by then President Clinton for inventions that have advanced medical care worldwide. In April 2002, Kamen was awarded the Lemelson-MIT Prize for inventors, for his invention of the Segway and of an infusion pump for diabetics. In 2003 his “Project Slingshot,” a cheap portable water purification system, was named a runner-up for “coolest invention of 2003″ by Time magazine. In 2005, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his invention of the AutoSyringe. (source: Wikipedia)
Be careful about trusting intuition, but be more careful not to bend to the majority for whom “impossible” is a comforting excuse for inaction.
Posted on: August 6, 2009.