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April 1995 Vol. 4 Issue 1
Upcoming Conferences

Society of Cardiovascular
Philadelphia, PA
May 6th-l0th, 1995

Advanced Peripheral Vascular
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
May 16-19th, 1995

Innovation is work! Innovation is reading, listening, adjusting and building support!

The history of scientific innovation has been a history of people who were willing to fight for their ideas in the face of ridicule, scorn, and even hostility. Guglielmo Marconi, father of radio, tried for years to interest people in the potential of wireless communication over long distances.

When Marconi proposed to send a wireless signal across the Atlantic, the "experts" almost unanimously declared it theoretically impossible. They correctly pointed out that the earth's curvature between two points of the land was so great that the straight-line patch of the signal would take it off into space; it would never reach its destination.

However, Marconi tried it anyway, and in 1901 he succeeded in transmitting the Morse code letter "5" from Cornwall, England , to Newfoundland. Only later did researchers discover the ionosphere, an electrically charged layer of atmosphere which has the effect of bending low frequency radio waves and causing them to follow the curvature of the earth.

Marconi's belief in the value of experience panned out, but not without a great deal of initial embarrassment and humiliation at the hands of those who "knew" it wouldn't work.

The "I" in Innovation stands for Implementation not Ideas. Good ideas are basically a dime a dozen these days. What is rare is the persistence and energy necessary to bring innovation to market.

Innovation is not a sudden voila light bulb with an idea that solves all possible related problems. Innovation is work. Innovation is constant adjustment of a design until it is right. Innovation is a successive process of prototype building and revised drawings and then getting feedback on these designs. The feedback is then used to further improve the design. Never is the product right the first time.

It is our belief that companies that keep designs secret until their introduction are undertaking a dangerous practice. If companies spent more time getting multiple and varied widespread feedback at the design stage, they would have better, safer, less problematic designs.

Written by Howard J. Leonhardt



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