Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Viva! Scotch Tape!

I usually wear my wristwatch almost 24/7.  I don’t believe that it is waterproof so it comes off for showers, shaving, swimming, etc. This morning I showered and then flopped on my comfy chair in the living room.  I fell asleep while reading the paper and woke up with no idea what time it was - no watch. So I promptly had the million dollar idea.  Why doesn’t Samsung put a little clock on their TV remotes. I would pay an extra dollar or two for that feature.  The idea is about as clever as putting a clock on a church steeple so I doubt there would be any patent problems.

Reminds me. Yesterday’s Newsweek had a highlighted sentence within an article about Apple. It said approximately the following; Apple today may be the most incredibly inventive lab in the recent history of Silicon Valley. That must automatically be translatable to: in the country, because I can’t think of a true invention from American industry outside of Silicon Valley since I retired 30 years ago. (Not that I claim there is a connection.) Being of a simple minded sort, I still credit 3M as displaying the most group creativity of any lab I ever knew of. The basic invention that got them started involved putting a sticky surface on one side of a strip of cellophane in such a way that it wouldn’t stick to the other side. Thereby the tape could be rolled up and when unrolled, one side only had stickum on it. From there, a relatively small group of people created a myriad of innovations, modifications, line extensions and cleverness. They were a bee hive where the question, “What’s new?”  always got an answer.

All that on the basis of a one day visit  to the lab, probably forty years ago.

PS I still haven’t got my quotation marks to behave consistently. You may have noticed. Sorry.