Innovation: Finding The 3rd Alternative

There are two quotes on innovation that I came across recently that I liked and wanted to share:


The first by David Ben-Gurion:

If an expert says it can’t be done, get another expert. 


The second by Shimon Peres:

When you have two alternatives, the first thing you have to do is to look for the third that you didn’t think about, that doesn’t exist.

Both of these smart thinkers understood that solutions and innovation means breaking previous paradigms and thinking outside the box.

They got it absolutely right! 😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Don’t Just Sit There

Really liked this robot (Cubebot) in the store.


Love the colors and that you can change the pose in all different ways. 


This robot is pretty darn cute!


It’s funny in this sitting position though.


Just want to say: 

Don’t just sit there, do something!


Probably not that long before robots will be all over the place.


We’ll wish for just a little privacy from the darn things, just like from our 24/7 computer gadgets that we can’t let go of now.


Yes, we’re hopelessly dependent on the technology–it’s so helpful and we love it, but we can’t turn it off. 


They won’t be sitting for long. 


Robots–big and small, alone and in swarms, male and female, strong and intricate, smart and simple, worker and homemaker, doer and helper, companion and lover, where will it stop–it won’t. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Stretch Goals That Break The Band

So I learned some important lessons about stretch goals. 


You want to have stretch goals because they make your strive to do and be your best. 


When you have to stretch yourself above your normal then you can take yourself to whole new levels of performance and achievement. 


However, if the stretch goals are ridiculously unachievable than you simply set yourself up for frustration and failure. 


Goals need to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. 


But too often they are DUMB goals: Directed by others, Unachievable, Made to fail, and Based on false assumptions. 


For example, if someone tells you to jump off that bridge into the whitewater beneath because they assume that somehow you can spread you bare arms and fly–guess what is going to happen to you?


Goals can help you get to new heights of accomplishment in life or they can pull you down in false condemnation and despair.

 

Like in fighting the good fight…be careful when you are sent to the front lines in trench warfare with heavily dug fortifications, machine guns, artillery placements aimed your way and yelled at with no rational strategy to “Advance!”

 

The only place that is going to take you is to an early grave.

 

Instead, fight smart and take the hill when the hill is takable–you save a lot of lives that way and you actually take the hill successfully. 😉

 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Trace Amounts of Cocaine

So this is a funny story from today.


I had a wonderful opportunity to tour a couple of labs at NIST today.


One of them does work in contraband detection.


The scientist asks if anyone has any money in their wallet.


I pull out a dollar and hand it to him.


I ask him what happens if he finds any traces of bad stuff on the money from me.


He says, “A cage will fall from the ceiling” and I’ll be in big trouble.


Uh, we all laugh a little.


He unfolds the money and puts it into the machine that looks for the contraband.


Oh sh*t, it comes up in the “red”–positive for cocaine.


Someone else says jokingly, “A little leftover from the weekend?”


I joke back, “Na, It’s from this morning before work!”


Ha, ha, I think. 


It turns out the scientist explains that 90% of our currency actually tests positive for cocaine


I’m wondering whether this is a commentary on drug use and even the opioid epidemic in America.


The lab director explains a theory that the automated money counters spread traces of the drugs from bills and contaminates the other currency.


Aside from this little experiment today, I got to learn so much about creating standards for contraband detection systems and equipment and in another lab about magnetism. 


It is unbelievable how smart these scientists are–they are so unique and of the best in the world.


I am so happy to be able to learn from them even if it’s contraband on money. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Not Every Problem Requires A High-Tech Solution

So I thought this was pretty smart.


Yes, it’s a “Smart” car.


But more important is this guy parked his car in a very smart way. 


The spot was too small even for this micro urban car.


So he just parked it sideways–and poof it fits.


Also, look how easy it is for him to drive out of the spot when he’s ready. 


Now, I’m not one to say whether this is legal or not (his rear wheels are on the sidewalk, of course).


Still there is something refreshing about this solution. 


Nothing high-tech about it — he didn’t need to move the cars further apart or shrink his own vehicle, rather just think out of the box. 


Frankly, it works, and I think this guy deserves the parking spot–so right on dude!  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

A Future Beyond Fear

This is my spin on a Jack Canfield saying, but I like it this way:

“The future is on the other side of fear.”

Sometimes we feel hemmed in or torn down by life.


And there is plenty of fear of failure and not being able to do what we need to do. 


But the only way to get there is to get past the fear!


You need to look straight ahead into the future of what you want. 


And you need to overcome your worst fear…that you’re not good enough, you’re not smart enough, you’re not strong enough, and you’re not beautiful enough.


…and the gnawing feeling inside that you can’t do it.


This is precisely when you need to center yourself, strengthen yourself, and pray for G-d’s help.


Whether to get over it, under it, or through it. 


The future–your future–is on the other side of that fear–that fear that is holding you back.


No, you’re not stupid, ugly, weak, or unworthy.


Yes, you’re a child of the G-d on the most high. 


So you can reach deep and reach high to accomplish your mission in life. 


You can truly leap over mountains and even reach for the stars. 


No, it’s not beyond you.


It’s right in front of you.


Take that deep breath, clench your fist, gird you sword, and ready yourself in every way.


The fear holding you back is yours to conquer. 


And the future is yours to be had. 😉


(Inspired by my wife, Dannielle Blumenthal)


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

Hey, Lady On The Shirt

Lady On Shirt
This was just a really cool shirt that I saw.



It’s has an image of a lady standing out front with what looks like a volcano in the background. 



The volcano is shooting up its hothead steam, and looks like it’s blowing the cloud on the left sideways, off-kilter. 



What’s nice about the lady on the shirt is that it’s not just drawn on, but has materials sewn in to make it 3-D.



The black and pink fabric for the dress, the green and red beads for the shirt, the pink and silver over the black patches for the sunglasses, and the yellow for the hat. 



Also, like the way she’s standing all confident wth her hands on her hips and her elbows out–like “Hey, that volcano is nothing (compared to me)!”



The shirt is so simple, yet very smart. 



That’s the way most things should be. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)