Larry Kilham Blog
To make new theories, new inventions, and other great creations, we have to do better than adjusting existing theories and designs. We must move out of our conscious world and focus our mind in a new place occupied only by the new creation.
When an inventor comes up with a truly novel idea or insight, he or she has been exploring relationships, patterns, and associations until a productive interplay of ideas, images, and data of all kinds is found. That encouragement signals the brain that the chase is on. The mind is to be projected to a special little world encompassed by this project.
Einstein placed himself in speeding trains, moving clocks and elevators in space. This was more than metaphorical thinking; it was a mind transforming itself to another place. Einstein's strength came from his imagination and creativity.
My father, Peter Kilham, invented a phenomenally successful bird feeder that is the very familiar plastic tube with metal perches. He started by imaging himself to be a bird on a perch. Then he envisioned a geometry that would be most accommodating to the bird. Only after the bird was satisfied did he select the materials and manufacturing processes to make an attractive and economical product.
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Larry Kilham is a Sloan School of Management graduate from MIT, received three patents, and has founded two high-tech companies. Many of his product designs required innovative use of computers, and as early as the 1960s he was researching artificial intelligence (AI).