Guess who I saw late last night on ABC Nightline Closeup?
(alright, the answer is in the title)
If you missed it, here is a summary: Abcnews.com for Nightline UpClose/ Dean Keman
Broadcast Date: Jan. 1, 2003
Dean defended the Segway.
He gave an honest interview about himself and his career.
Spoke about the life of an inventor.
Spoke about the invention process and method of thinking.
The dilemma of inventing for patient or inventing to help mankind.
The conception of FIRST. Started with the cultural issue of America.
A good review of what FIRST is about and how and why it was developed.
Criticized the Education system for not supporting the programs that promotes Science and technology.
He wants FIRST to be fun, cool, and will change the culture in the educational system.
“FIRST is not a past time.”
Dean’s slogan: “Life is short, work hard!”
It was one of the best Dean interviews I’ve seen.
Jan. 1 —“We have created a culture that makes kids, particularly, think the goal is to find those things that are simply, in that immediate moment, fun. I mean, we give them slogans like, ‘Life is short, play hard.’ How about, ‘Life is short, work hard?’ You can have the hardest fun in the world.” —Inventor Dean Kamen
He works hard, but seems to have fun doing it. So it seems only right that we usher in a New Year with a man who’s always brimming with new ideas. He holds more than 150 patents and some of his inventions – the product of that fine mix of perspiration and inspiration – have been truly revolutionary.
It was a little more than a year ago that Dean Kamen unveiled his Segway Human Transporter to speed pedestrians along the sidewalks of urban centers. Unlike the stereotype of the inventor, this didn’t come to Kamen in the middle of the night as though a light bulb suddenly flickered above his head. He tells correspondent Don Dahler on tonight’s UpClose, the process of invention is slow, tedious and anything but an epiphany: “The only thing that’s even more slow, and more frustrating, and more tedious is watching people change and adopt things, even good things. I am sure the day after Edison made his light bulb, people read about it with the same candles that they and their parents and grandparents had used for centuries. And I’m sure the day after the Wright brothers flew, people got into their horse and buggy to run down to get the newspaper to see about this newfangled invention, and most thought it didn’t exist – or if it did, it’s an oddity. What’s the big deal?”
So too the segway. You won’t see pedestrians adopt them overnight. For starters, they cost nearly $5000. But if you believe Kamen, society moves much slower than the wheels inside an inventor’s head. Maybe the world will never fully embrace the Segway. But remember what they said about the airplane, automobile and television.
Among Kamen’s better mousetraps are a wheelchair that climbs stairs called the IBOT and a portable, wearable drug infusion pump that is in wide use. But it’s not so much the inventions that distinguish Kamen, it’s his enthusiasm for solving problems and the circuitous way he gets there. "The invention process is incredibly messy. It’s incredibly frustrating. You go around, bump into the wall, try another place, bump into another wall, do a little more, bump into the same wall again and say, “Geez, I’ve been here before. What’s wrong?”
UpClose tonight…the big thinker who sheds a little light on the creative process from his New Hampshire workshop. Not a bad way to start 2003. Happy New Year!
In the East and Midwest, UpClose will be delayed tonight, Thursday and Friday by ABC Sports coverage of college bowl games. Tomorrow, you’ll meet Martha Burk, the woman who has ignited a national debate about the men-only membership at Augusta National, home of the Master’s golf tournament. And on Friday, we’ll talk with Stephon Marbury, the Phoenix Suns star whom we’ve followed since he was a high school senior.
I mean, we give them slogans like, ‘Life is short, play hard.’ How about, ‘Life is short, work hard?’ You can have the hardest fun in the world." —Inventor Dean Kamen
I saw the interview last night and IMed every person on the robotics team that was up at midnight. As soon as Dean said this quote my friend told me that should be the motto of my life (just cuz I’m a workoholic like that) so it went up on the AIM profile immediately.
Oh yeah, I got the new trivial pursuit for Christmas and there was a question and the answer was Dean Kamen. I set the card aside and I’ll copy it here one of these days.