Imagine back, if you can, to the time in our lives when instagram, twitter or even facebook didn’t exist. To my surprise I find that we are still in the 2000’s. Now, go back even further.
Think back to the early/mid 90’s, the emergence of digital cameras, cellular phones and every other week AOL was sending us diskettes (and eventually CD-ROMs) to use their dial up service
Think about a time when we didn’t have car phones (yes, they were once called car phones) and people carried beepers and took pictures with a camera that had film in it and we listened to music on the go with the Sony Walkman. Now we are hovering around the 1980’s somewhere.
If you have it in you, think back as far as you can go…for me, my earliest recollections are from the early/mid 1970’s. Think about the technology that amazed you back then. I can recall some items that we had that were marvelous back then:
- Cable TV: It was a box that connected to our television by a 20 foot cable that tuned to roughly 36 stations. Here is a video showing the box!
- Texas Instruments Calculator: it was a 4 function calculator, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction, here is what it looked like. I remember my dad using this all the time.
- Coleco Electronic Quarterback: 1978 was a great year, see it here. I snuck mine to school, often.
Why I am taking a trip down memory lane? Because over the weekend a friend showed me a working, Land Camera (Model 95) invented by the Polaroid Company. This is a very important piece of american history as well as inventiveness and ingenuity. The story of the creation of this camera stems from Edward Land throwing a party for daughter who was turning 7 or 8. It was a grand event and lots of pictures where taken. At the time to get your film developed you either had to have your own darkroom or send them away for months at a time to be developed and sent back to you in perfect condition.
His daughter, at the end of the party looked at Dr. Land and gave a simple statement: “Dad, I wish I could see my pictures right away…” A fairly innocuous statement for a 7 or 8 year old as they are always wishing for things that were hard to come by. Most 7 or 8 year olds wished for grand things on their birthday.
Dr. Land took his daughters wish and after thinking about the time and process of getting film developed and in turn had his
very own wish that led to the inventing of the Instant Camera: “I wish I could develop the film right away, like a darkroom in my pocket…” (or some faction of this wish). Wishing this powerful wish forced Dr. Land to think differently about how to accomplish the task of developing film and developing instantaneously so that his daughter could enjoy the pictures from her parties the very same day, or even moments after the picture was taken.
The powerful act of wishing for something, especially when we are trying to invent newness and breakthroughs in any situation, helps us open our minds and other’s to limitless possibilities. Wishes do not have to be defended nor can they be judged.
After all a wish is just a wish.
It’s what you do with the wish is where the power lies.