"Flash of Genius" movie

I'm seeing previews for the movie about the invention of intermittent wipers in '63. Think how things have changed in 45 years. Today, a manager at a
design firm would tell a group of engineers to design such a system and have several designs on his desk by the end of the day. True, they didn't have 555s in '63. So, is it that a unique idea is a lot more important than the actual design?
If you remember some of my previous posts about nurturing ideas that lead to designs, this has been an area of extreme interest to me. In the movie, it looks like Ford screws the idea/design guy, which makes me sick. Designers and model builders need more respect but idea guys need to be revered! (coming from a guy that has had very, very few, if any, original ideas)
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It must have been at least a decade or longer ago that I read about this gent winning his case in the Detroit Free Press. Guy was tenacious.
Wes
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Tom: Any good (product) idea takes a commitment of time, smarts and money to bring it to market and then do the right things that make it successful (profitable). Those people with the balls to risk their own personal funds, stay up late nights overcoming problems and plain just won't take no for an answer are the ones that make it. There are also a lot of people who did all the right things, built great products and still failed. In my opinion, ideas are a dime a dozen. An idea is nothing without the ability (taking the $ risk, generating the commitment) to fund it, make it and sell it. -Mike
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wrote:

Tom: Any good (product) idea takes a commitment of time, smarts and money to bring it to market and then do the right things that make it successful (profitable). Those people with the balls to risk their own personal funds, stay up late nights overcoming problems and plain just won't take no for an answer are the ones that make it. There are also a lot of people who did all the right things, built great products and still failed. In my opinion, ideas are a dime a dozen. An idea is nothing without the ability (taking the $ risk, generating the commitment) to fund it, make it and sell it. -Mike
Excellent reply! Also, those with the "hook" into a market search for ideas for products that can be shoved into the existing pipe. That "pipe" is a valuable commodity!
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wrote:

Jerome H. Lemelson
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<Sunworshipper> wrote in message > wrote:

Edison had more inventions but he had squads of people doing a lot of the work while old Tom took all the credit.
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On Wed, 24 Sep 2008 20:48:28 -0400, the infamous "Tom Gardner"

Bill Gates could be considered a more modern rendition of Edison style.
-- The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. -- George Bernard Shaw
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Larry Jaques wrote:

Except for the fact that Edison scrapped his bad ideas.
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I thought Geo. Westinghouse using Telsa's ideas scrapped Edisons bad ideas.
Wes
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Wes wrote:

No, it was still in use until a few years ago.
Microsoft ships theirs. :(
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wrote:

It doesn't work that way. Ya give 'em books, they eat the covers. Been there, done that, had a lot of fun along the way. Won a buncha patents though I don't own any nor care to. Idea guys find their own happiness. A need to be revered is a sure route to frustration.
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I remember hearing about how the guy who invented intermediate wipers got screwed by the auto companies maybe 20 or 30 years ago. My reaction then, and pretty much my reaction now is - any idiot could have thought that one up.
Whey I see something like that, my thought is that this "inventor" was no inventor at all. He had one idea in his life, and expected to get rich from it. Real inventors create 10 ideas a day better than that one. Yes, some people are much better than others at creating good original ideas, but what's hard, is finding the one which is practical at the time you find it, and which isn't so obvious that 10 other guys didn't think it up at the same time. Dreaming up new ideas is easy. Finding new solutions which are practical is not so easy. That requires a lot of research and investigation to understand what will be needed, and at which point in time it will become practical. And then creating a design that works, and is affordable for the application.
At the same time this guy made the invention of his life - a timer to control a motor, real inventors and creative engineers were at work creating the SR-71 blackbird - something so advance and creative it probably included a 1000 items more noteworthy than this timer, and none of the engineers creating all those inventions every day expected to get anything in return except another day's pay.
Now maybe there's more to this story and I'd like to see the movie to find out. But mostly, I think the inventor probably had a greatly over inflated ego. I don't doubt the auto companies ripped him off, but I also don't think he deserved much more than about a day's pay for his "invention" (from what I understand of it).
I think mostly, the movie is just an attempt to leverage the appeal of the old theme of "little guy being screwed by large corporation and standing up for himself" angle. I only wish it was over something more significant than the "invention" of interment windshield wipers.
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On 26 Sep 2008 04:38:39 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@kcwc.com (Curt Welch) wrote:

Yeah,
Real genius would have been to make the wipers pause at the top of their stroke too. Using those Teflon blades with my intermittent wipers is TERRIBLE. The freaking blades wipe the glass so clean, they cause an almost "fingernails-on-the-blackboard" screech on the backstroke so bad I have to hope for MORE rain.
Take care.
Brian Lawson, Bothwell, Ontario.
ps....I hear the garbage truck outside right now. THAT was real genius!!
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Rainx, to heck with the wipers.
Wes
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wrote:

I'll second that! It's great stuff, pity it doesn't last longer before it needs re-doing.
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On Sat, 27 Sep 2008 17:21:35 +0800, the infamous "Den"

I'll third that!

I do my windshield about 3 times a year, but only do the side and rear windows once. Initial application takes about half an hour, to clean the windows and RainX 'em. Redoing the windshield takes five minutes.
Does anyone use FogX inside? How does it fare?
-- The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. -- George Bernard Shaw
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I bought some windshield wiper fluid once with rainx in it. That worked really well.
Wes
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wrote:

I used to make my own washer fluid with Rainx, alcohol, industrial glass cleaner and the blue stuff as a base. Now, I just use Rainx washer fluid. Not as good as mine but passable.
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You should have patented it ;)
Wes
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Tom Gardner wrote:

Passable? You're not supposed to drink it, Tom! ;-)
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