By Mark Messing
When I was in the 6th grade, I remember going to a library session where everyone in the class was taught how to effectively use search engines. They had a list of about 20 at the time. And while the preference was still Google, it was far less of a landslide. In fact, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves, and a site called Mamma Search all shared equal usage from various children in the session. I remember the librarian telling us why she had put together the session that everyone in the school would eventually take.
"This is going to be the future of research," she proclaimed.
When I was in 9th grade a fellow student came to class with the first iPod I had ever seen. He explained how he had spent $400 on it, and how it was going to be the future of music.
"I can’t believe you haven’t heard of these yet," he told me, "Some day they are going to be smaller, and hold more songs. If you ever get the chance, you should buy their stock."
Last night, I read an article about Kent Hodgson. He is a 22 year-old inventor.
You know those little grooves in your refrigerator that hold cans of pop? He is looking to make those, along with coolers and ice, absolutely irrelevant. His "Huski" drink cooler uses CO2 cells to cool drinks in seconds. His invention is the size of a pen, and will cool at about 7 cents a drink. It has everyone asking "How has no one thought of this before?"
The answer is that someone has. And before the iPod, and Google were introduced, someone had already thought of MP3 players and search engines. There is a difference between invention and thought.
An invention isn’t thinking, it is doing. An invention has to be manufactured, and to excel it has to be implemented, and marketed well. That is why you have heard of Google, but probably not Mamma. Though he hasn’t hit the finish line yet (I haven’t bought a Huski yet), I want to applaud Kent Hodgson, because at some point someone must have told him that his invention was probably already being thought of, and he was smart enough to realize that it didn’t matter, as long as it wasn’t being made.