From the ideas from strange places department:
flown today in 1903? (That would be December 17th, 1903)
“While most engineers assumed that a successful aircraft would need to be inherently stable, as bicycle builders the Wrights made their living building vehicles that were inherently unstable.” NOVA Wright Brother’s Flying Machine (Currently on Hulu.com)
The bike shop turned out to the the perfect training ground for the first successful aeronautic engineers.
The leap concerning stability –
…led to a focus on control –
…onto a critical insight about wing warping which came when Wilber reached for a cardboard box containing an inexpensive tire tube.
From giving a box a helical twist to steering a biplane.
But as with all serendipitous moments (and most instances of luck for that matter) the inventors had to put themselves in the right frame for inspiration to strike.
Which brings me back to the power of Need, Structure and Serendipity when it comes to personal creativity.
The Wright Brothers were pursuing flight. They knew the research of the day, figured out where others were going wrong through a progressive series of experiments, and ingeniously transfered skills learned from the bicycle trade.
Their bike shop paved the way for their flight shop.
So with the new year approaching I think it could be fun to think about ways to enhance our chances for big serendipitous moments – Personally, professionally and businesslly. (I know, I know, businesslly is not a word. But if you know what I mean maybe it is now. We’ll see.)
Any pointers you’d like to add to the discussion?