In the garage with the mind outside [History of Entrepreneurship and Innovation]
In 1837, inventor Samuel Morse sought help from professor Leonard Gale. Together they wired about 10 miles of wire inside a classroom and were able to test and explore an early version of what would be the telegraph:
“Gale examined Morse’s setup and saw the solution at once. He had read Henry’s article describing an intensity battery and told Morse to wind hundreds of [feet of] wire around the electromagnet and use a battery of many cells rather than only one. Morse gave him a puzzled look but made the changes. Before long, he could send a message [about] a thousand feet. Then, in November, Gale strung reels of wire around his own classroom and sent a message ten miles.” Maury Klein, The Power Makers, p 106, 2008
They didn’t have a way to put the real solution in place. But these inventors launched their prototypes in big way and were able to test the realities to prove the potential use of the technology. The metaphorical purpose of this event exactly resonates with a need, or a drive, and the importance of seeking realities, or seeking additional data points in order to clear the path to further development.
Whether you’re in a garage or out in the field, with customers or not, what matters is the intention to explore assumptions, to seek multiple data points, and to learn in the attempt to bring ideas into the world, as opposed to continuing to procrastinate by inventing your own stories. Of course, all starts with your stories and creativity but once you launch yourself it’s up to your team to find out how it can become real in the world.
Maury Klein, The Power Makers: Steam, Electricity, and the Men Who Invented Modern America, 2008 edition.