It’s often mentioned that breakthroughs can not be scheduled. I’m here to explain how this can be twentieth century thinking. The statement assumes that this word “breakthrough” is unambiguously defined. This website post questions that assumption and supplies a step-by-step guide to achieving a breakthrough. My focus is on batteries, but with just a few tweaks, you could adapt this for other places also.
Let me start with saying that in the last century there was a feeling a breakthrough was considered to be when, by way of example, you discover a new material for li ion battery pack that has, say, higher energy or possibly is safer or anything. Those varieties of breakthroughs then check out the traditional rigmarole of publications, licensing, technology transfer, peer appreciation, awards, products and all of those other boring items that takes twenty years to have settled. In the age of Twitter, Facebook, Uber, and, Snapchat, this type of time period is perfect for the folks unwilling to look to new methods of achieving breakthroughs. In the event you belong to this “old” club, Make sure you go forward. This guide will likely be of no use for you.
But what is a breakthrough anyway? With regards to I am aware there is no body that proclaims something a breakthrough (a Pope for science?). And is there really this as an eureka moment? Even though you have one, it will probably be each year before you can reproduce the experiment and acquire each of the methods of place to prove it. And when the breakthrough should really become a product, it may need you 10 more years to scale it to make it.
But imagine if there were a respected publication that really called something a breakthrough. Then this became validated and verified by other publications saying the exact same thing? That seems to be in line with the scientific method, can it not?
So, to the purposes of advancing, allow us to define a breakthrough as exactly that: It is actually proclaimed as such by several publication. Also to assist us move forward, publications will be broadly considered a peer reviewed journal article, or possibly a newspaper, or possibly a blog, or even a tweet etc. i.e., so long as the word breakthrough plus your work appear on the web somewhere, you happen to be golden. This guide will assist you to arrive.
Step One: Before you start the studies, try not to see the literature. The peer-reviewed literature is loaded with things that have been tried before. When you read them carefully, then what you are doing is definitely not new. Remember this mantra (thanks to NBC after they were promoting reruns inside the 90s): “If you haven’t seen it before, its a novice to you”.
Step Two: When you start the research, remember that facts just get in how. The literature is stuffed with facts (hence Step One). In 1492 everyone thought the globe was flat; until Columbus took to the seas.1 We all thought it was round, until Tom Friedman proved it was flat. Up Until The Matrix came out, we thought gravity was forever binding us on the earth. Breakthroughs happen when these laws are broken plus it takes a bold person to travel where no person has gone before. To paraphrase Marsellus Wallace from Pulp Fiction, you might feel a slight sting once in a while when it appears as though you might be violating faraday’s law. These are the facts f*ing with you. f* facts.
Step 3: As you now have performed your due diligence and ignored everything, it is actually time and energy to focus. Try and work towards a newly-discovered material, or atleast one which has been forgotten for some time. It becomes an important step. Around you are able to go after Steps 1 and two, the better studied the fabric, the harder it can be to convince yourself that you are currently violating each of the well-known laws simply because you are charting a new path instead of screwing up. It’s so much easier to imagine this if it’s a new material. Graphene is nice (not quite as a battery material, but bear in mind Step 2). So are fullerenes (granted these are old, but it appears as though it is time to revisit them). Graphite, however, could be bad; except if you plan to apply it inside a new way; whereby it might be good. Lithium metal is ALWAYS good; however, if you go this route you should get religion on Steps 1 and 2.
Step 4: As you may start to get data in the new invention, revisit Step 2. Revisit many times, it, particularly if you really feel down.
Step 5: Time to start writing the paper. Always suggest that your invention is better than Li-ion. The best way to get anyone excited is always to claim that. This may sound hard, yet it is not. There are lots of metrics that should be satisfied for industrial battery, including, energy, power, charge time, cost, life, safety, low temperature and temperature stability. If you feel you may have something which looks better in virtually any one of these, you are carrying out superior to Li-ion. Pricing is the 55dexhpky one if everything else fails. You can always safely say something like “our preliminary cost estimates advise that the battery costs less than something-small/kWh”. Opposite end from the spectrum is energy, the hardest. When you decline this path you really need Step 6.
Step 6: Always confuse energy with power. It’s completely appropriate to state “Our pixie dust battery can discharge an issue of 10 faster than Li-ion, therefore EVs based on pixie dust have a longer driving range similar to Li-ion EVs” or “our batteries can be charged in five minutes, providing more energy than any battery seen to man or aliens. Over a separate note, we simply appear to acquire one cycle from our battery; we think this has something connected to aliens”
Step 7: The paper is ready and it is time and energy to submit. Never send the paper to a journal which specializes in publishing papers in batteries. This will obtain your paper into the hands of traditional battery-types who remember past history, understand what works and precisely what does not, and also have a strong scientific foundation within the field. Such knowledge is surely an impediment to your out-of-the-box thinking. Remember Step 2. Always choose a journal that may be disconnected from your battery field.
Step 8: With the paper being released, it is actually time to prepare for a press release. Keep in mind that the press wishes to hear that it is a breakthrough. So despite just what the peer-reviewed paper proves, be sure to think of it a breakthrough with the press release. Understand that Steve Jobs failed to really have a working iPhone when he announced it to the world, and asserted that they might ship in a few months. When it is suitable for Steve, I’m sure it is actually suitable for you. So don’t be shy in telling the press how great 18650 battery pack is going to be. Be sure that you give interviews to numerous publications. Remember our meaning of a breakthrough: you require multiple publications to mention it can be one. So target many outlets.
Step 9: The morning has arrived; the publications are out; and you have spend the higher area of the day googling you to ultimately find out how far the word has spread. This is actually the day whenever you may hear skepticism (some contained within the articles and others in emails addressed to you). Remember Step Two. Remind yourself the iPhone had many critics (e.g, the proximity sensor is not going to work. Who would want to browse the net with a phone anyway? Atleast they got the first problem right!). If it resolved for Steve Jobs, this could workout for yourself too.