We reviewed all of the readings, including Gladwell’s article on the history of television, as well as the “They all laughed” chapters on Microwaves, Light-bulbs and Electricity.

Key points:

  • Ideas are messy. We discussed how reading about how ideas were actually developed is much different than we’re generally taught to believe – it’s never simple, straighforward, or easy.
  • Ideas take time to develop into products. The timelines for light bulbs, airplanes, the television and the post it note were years, and it involved many different kind of ideas and problem solving at different levels of thinking.

We also watched a segment from the HBO special, “From the earth to the moon” (Episode 5: Spider) which highlighted how ideas are developed in organizations – showing how fluid and collaborative engineering complex things (like spaceships or software) can be.

Next week: We’ll cover critiquing, good pitchwork and more stories of idea history.

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