It’s often mentioned that breakthroughs cannot be scheduled. I’m here to inform you that this really is 20th century thinking. The statement assumes that this word “breakthrough” is unambiguously defined. This blog post questions that assumption and offers a step-by-step guide to achieving a breakthrough. My focus is on batteries, but with some tweaks, you could adapt this for other locations also.
Allow me to start with proclaiming that during the last century there was clearly a feeling that a breakthrough was thought to be when, for instance, you find a brand new material for li ion battery pack which has, say, higher energy or possibly is safer or anything. Those sorts of breakthroughs then glance at the traditional rigmarole of publications, licensing, technology transfer, peer appreciation, awards, products and the remainder of the boring items that takes two decades to get settled. In age of Twitter, Facebook, Uber, and, Snapchat, these kinds of period of time is designed for the people unwilling to check to new methods for achieving breakthroughs. If you fit in with this “old” club, It is best to proceed. This guide will be of no use to you.
But just what is a breakthrough anyway? With regards to I am aware there is not any body that proclaims something a breakthrough (a Pope for science?). Which is there really such a thing as being an eureka moment? Even though you have one, it will likely be annually in order to reproduce the experiment and acquire every one of the techniques in place to prove it. And when the breakthrough should really be described as a product, it will require you 10 more years to scale it and then make it.
But can you imagine if there were an established publication that actually called something a breakthrough. And then this was validated and verified by other publications saying the same thing? That is apparently in line with the scientific method, does it not?
So, to the purpose of continuing to move forward, allow us to define a breakthrough as simply that: It can be proclaimed therefore by multiple publication. Also to help us advance, publications will probably be broadly considered a peer reviewed journal article, or possibly a newspaper, or a blog, or possibly a tweet etc. i.e., as long as the term breakthrough along with your work show on the internet somewhere, you happen to be golden. The following information will assist you to arrive.
Step One: Before starting the studies, try not to read the literature. The peer-reviewed literature is full of things that have been tried before. If you read them carefully, then what you will be doing is definitely not new. Remember this mantra (thanks to NBC once 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 investigation, remember that facts just get in the manner. The literature is stuffed with facts (hence Step 1). In 1492 everyone thought the entire world was flat; until Columbus took to the seas.1 We all thought it was round, until Tom Friedman proved it absolutely was flat. Up Until The Matrix became available, we thought gravity was forever binding us towards the earth. Breakthroughs happen when these laws are broken and it requires a bold person to visit where no person went before. To paraphrase Marsellus Wallace from Pulp Fiction, you could feel a small sting once in a while when it feels like you happen to be violating faraday’s law. These are the facts f*ing together with you. f* facts.
Step Three: Now you have performed your research and ignored everything, it really is time for you to focus. Try to work on a newly-discovered material, or atleast one which has been forgotten for some time. This is an important step. Around you can go after Steps 1 and 2, the greater studied the material, the harder it can be to convince yourself you are violating all the famous laws because you are charting a whole new path as an alternative to screwing up. It’s much simpler to believe this if it’s a completely new material. Graphene is nice (much less battery power material, but remember Step 2). So might be fullerenes (granted they are old, but it feels like its time to revisit them). Graphite, alternatively, could possibly be bad; until you plan to utilize it inside a new way; whereby it may be good. Lithium metal is usually good; however, if you decide to go this route you will need to get religion on Steps 1 and 2.
Step 4: While you start to get data on the new invention, revisit Step 2. Revisit it often, especially when you feel down.
Step 5: Time to start writing the paper. Always state that your invention surpasses Li-ion. The best way to get anyone excited is usually to point out that. This may sound hard, however it is not. There are several metrics that must be satisfied for industrial battery manufacturer, including, energy, power, charge time, cost, life, safety, low temperature and temperature stability. If you feel that you possess an issue that looks better in every one of these, you are doing a lot better than Li-ion. Price is the 55dexhpky one if everything else fails. You could always safely say such as “our preliminary cost estimates suggest that the battery will cost lower than something-small/kWh”. Other end in the spectrum is energy, the hardest. Should you decline this path you really want Step 6.
Step 6: Always confuse energy with power. It’s completely appropriate to express “Our pixie dust battery can discharge one factor of 10 faster than Li-ion, therefore EVs depending on pixie dust use a longer driving range much like Li-ion EVs” or “our batteries might be charged in 5 minutes, providing more energy than any battery recognized to man or aliens. With a separate note, we merely often obtain one cycle from the battery; we think it 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 that specializes in publishing papers in batteries. This will likely get the paper in to the hands of traditional battery-types who remember past history, really know what works and precisely what does not, and have a strong scientific foundation within the field. Such knowledge is definitely an impediment to the out-of-the-box thinking. Remember Step 2. Always go with a journal that is certainly disconnected from your battery field.
Step 8: With all the paper coming out, it is a chance to plan for a press release. Remember that the press desires to hear that it is a breakthrough. So despite just what the peer-reviewed paper proves, be sure you call it a breakthrough in the press release. Keep in mind that Steve Jobs did not genuinely have a working iPhone when he announced it to the world, and asserted that they would ship in six months. Should it be sufficient for Steve, I’m sure it is 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 concept of a breakthrough: you require multiple publications to express it can be one. So target many outlets.
Step 9: The time is here; the publications are out; and you have spend the more effective area of the day googling yourself to find out how far the word has spread. Here is the day if you may hear skepticism (some contained within the articles and others in emails addressed to you). Remember Step 2. Remind yourself that this iPhone had many critics (e.g, the proximity sensor is not going to work. Who would want to surf the web on the phone anyway? Atleast they got the very first problem right!). If it worked out for Steve Jobs, it could work out for you too.