I wonder if you’ve ever invented anything? My guess is that you have. That at some point you were faced with an arduous task and you said to yourself: There’s got to be a better way to do this, and after awhile you rigged up some contraption that did just that. I’m sure you don’t consider yourself an inventor, some fuss-budget laboring over a work-bench in the garage, but the fact is that today, more than at any other time in history, we all have a shot at being a part of making things that improve our lives.
My guest today is Pagan Kennedy, the author of a new book called Inventology: How We Dream Up Things That Change the World, and in it she not only tells us about the peculiar beginnings of life-altering inventions, whether born out of a junk-pile, or by accident, or from science fiction, but how today inventors get their ideas. If you’ve ever participated in a Kickstarter campaign or given feedback on a smart phone app, chances you’re already part of inventing something, and the astounding news is that you don’t need a degree from MIT. Some of today’s most useful inventions are coming from outsiders.
Pagan Kennedy is the former Innovation columnist for the New York Times Magazine, and the award-winning author of ten books.
The Lowdown with Ira Wood, Tuesdays at 12:30 PM and Saturdays at 5:30 AM on WOMR-FM, a Pacifica Radio affiliate station. Streaming and podcasts on WOMR.ORG.