Sunday, January 23, 2011

Accidental Progress

Drunk scientists pour wine on superconductors and make an incredible discovery

Many advances can be attributed less to genius than to a lucky combination or a lark that make it big.

1. Penacilan was uninvited mold.
2. Ray Krok visited the original McDonalds to see why they needed so many milkshake blenders and was so impressed he decided to go big-time.
3. Google's revenue model was not known when the search engine launched, a was supposedly opposed by Brin and Page.
4. Ebay and Craigs list (at least reportedly) were projects built out of the need of founders or their spouses without the initial idea of building a huge business.
5. What about Newton and his apple? Just a joke.

This all goes to show that people often know less than they think and progress is more often due to harvesting luck than perfect planning or insight.

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