Antenna Guru

RF is not 'black magic' – It's Synthesis, Optimization, Analysis and Realization.

Tag Archives: Innovation

[blank] Do You Love? part II

Oh, crap…

Do What You Love and Starve?

I’ve come to the conclusion that we’ve been sold a bill of goods when we’re told to “Follow your passion, “ or “Do what you love and the money will follow.” Fact is, if you do what you love, you’ll probably starve.

If you’re entrepreneurial, I recommend starting your own business. Yes, I know, only 20 percent of new businesses are still in business after five years, but you can beat the odds. Just remember is this one rule: Don’t innovate. Replicate. Copy a successful simple business.

Innovations are too risky: Your product might not work, may not be popular with the public, or a competitor could beat you to market. Why be a guinea pig? Unless you have deep pockets or are truly brilliant, the risks are too great. Many people have ended up in poverty because of their innovations. Even TiVo, a wonderful new product lost hundreds of millions of dollars in the first few years. Last I checked, you don’t have oodles of money to lose. Leave the innovations to corporations or the independently wealthy.

—Marty Nemko

Here’s my problem: I’m addicted to innovating.

Years ago, back when I thought an ‘engineer’ drove a choo-choo train, I tried to make a living as a cabinetmaker. I noticed that people (ladies, actually) seemed to crave dome-top trunks, so I designed a lapstrake dome-top trunk. The prototype, made from junk lumber, served as my son’s toy box. The first ‘production unit’ was built on speculation to display at craft shows, and then I intended to build them to order. I got enough orders, but never made the profit I could have, because I kept changing the design, searching for the ‘perfect’ dome-top trunk. I think I went through five revisions in a year and then went out of the cabinet business.

Fast forward a half-dozen years. I was a design engineer. Many of the ideas I had were not interesting to my employer so they never saw the light of day. On the one hand I was collecting a paycheck, so that was better than the cabinet business, but on the other hand many of my ‘children’ were stillborn as it were. This pattern continued over the next quarter century.

Nowadays I am potentially free to pursue my own interests. Only my interests are not ‘free’. Marty, I don’t believe your sensible rule… I hope impossible things will happen every day.

Crying in the Wilderness

So they said to him, “Who are you? We need an answer! What do you have to say for yourself?”

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