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Inventors at Work

Inventors at Work: The Minds and Motivation Behind Modern Inventions is a collection of interviews with inventors of famous products, innovations, and technologies that have made life easier or even changed the way we live. All of these scientists, engineers, wild-eyed geniuses, and amateur technologists have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of that singular Eureka! moment in their laboratories or garages. Each has altered the modern world as we know it in some significant way.

The conversations will show budding tinkerers, professional inventors,  educators, and onlookers how the top minds in the field come up with ideas and manage the first steps of inspiration, how they experiment productively, how they “sell” ideas to others and secure funding, how they execute the final product, and how they commercialize and protect their work. All inventors will learn from these conversations, whether they are exploring new chemical compounds in million-dollar labs or perfecting a household gadget or toy in a basement workshop.

Author Brett Stern, an inventor himself, explores with each inventor the nature of creativity and intuition, the skill set needed, and the force, motivation, or desire that must be summoned to spend endless hours searching for an answer to a question that no one else has asked or solving a problem most think has no solution. The book is required reading for all technical and creative individuals to better understand the innovation process and the logistics of following through on an idea that has the potential to change society. This book offers:

  • Interviews with inventors of world-changing products and technologies
  • An outline of the steps required in the creative/inventing process whether the goal is a civilization-changing process or a device meant to impress friends and family and perhaps earn license fees.
  • An instructive overview of how to solve problems in innovation—and how to use failures as stepping stones to successful inventions

What you’ll learn

  • Problem-solving techniques for the inventive mind
  • Sources of inspiration/motivation for innovation
  • The nature of creativity and the role of serendipity
  • Tools for ideation, including 2D sketching and 3D modeling
  • Using failure as pathway to success
  • Benefits of documenting all ideas
  • The commercialization process for inventions
  • Using intellectual property law to protect ideas

Who this book is for
Inventors at Work is a book for the professional scientist/engineer/inventor, the aspiring inventor/entrepreneur, product developers/innovators, and the backyard mechanic/maker. The book offers insights into the process of inventing, and the motivation and drive required for creating something novel. It will present a narrative of the inventing process and examples of how brilliant minds work, and how they often fail and sometimes succeed. The book is a blueprint for all of us who dream of creating the next new thing.

Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Gene Frantz: DSP chips
Chapter 2. Eric Fossum: Image sensors
Chapter 3. Robert Dennard: Computer memory
Chapter 4. Ron Popeil: Housewares
Chapter 5. Gary Michelson: Spinal implants
Chapter 6. Al Maurice: Polymers
Chapter 7. Helen Greiner: Robotics
Chapter 8. Glen Merfled: Batteries
Chapter 9. Steve Gass: Table saws
Chapter 10. Karen Swider-Lyons: Fuel cells
Chapter 11. Don Keck: Fiber optics
Chapter 12. Bob Loce: Imaging systems
Chapter 13. Lonnie Johnson: Energy systems
Chapter 14. Tim Leatherman: Folding hand tools
Chapter 15. Reyn Guyer: Toys
Chapter 16. Bernhard van Lengerich: Food manufacturing
Chapter 17. Curt Croley, Graham Marshall, Shane MacGregor: Mobile devices
Chapter 18. Matthew Scholz: Healthcare products
Chapter 19. Daria Mochly-Rosen: Drugs
Chapter 20. Martin Keen: Footwear
Chapter 21. Kevin Deppermann: Seed genomes
Chapter 22. John Calvert, Elizabeth Dougherty: USPTO
Chapter 23. Steve Wozniak: Personal computers

Book Details

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Apress (October 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430245069
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430245063
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