Innovation as side product of another creative process

Innovation as side product of another creative process

Like many of today’s great inventions, the microwave oven was a by-product of another technology. It was during a radar-related research project around 1946 when Dr. Percy Spencer, an engineer with the Raytheon Corporation, noticed something very unusual. He was testing a new part of the radar system (a vacuum tube called magnetron), when he discovered that the chocolate bar in his pocket had melted.

The vast majority of the people ordered to work on specific project, would have just thrown the ruined chocolate bar away and returned to the radar research. Spencer did not. He stopped immediately the radar research and started experimenting with other groceries. He placed an egg near to the magnetron. The egg began to quake and after few moments it exploded. Great stuff he thought! He experimented further with corn seeds and logically they turned into popcorn.

Being a creative thinker and innovator, Spencer came into the conclusion that if an egg can be cooked that quickly, why not other foods? Experimentation began and the microwave oven was born. The simple side product of his radar research was ready to revolutionize cooking, and form the basis of a multimillion dollar industry.

I guess it is not very difficult to see what the learning here is. However, here it is in simple English:

When something unusual or bizarre happens, don’t ignore it – dig into it!

Dr. Percy Spencer.gif

Scientist Percy Spencer at work.


One Comment so far:

  1. Great story!
    I am cooking my meal in microwave and trying to find out what could be “my microwave” today.
    At least I am on the right track, because I use to carry choclate bar in my pocket everythere. Lets see!


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