Greetings.  The new issue of Popular Mechanics, presents a fascinating look at "101 Gadgets That Changed the World."  Defining gadgets as "something you could hold in your hands, mechanic or electronic, and a mass-produced personal item," this article presents a history of remarkable innovations that will make you smile, bring back fond memories of your own childhood, cause you to marvel at the pace of technological change, and even spark your imagination about what might come next.

Selected by a distinguished panel of experts, they run the gamut from the mobile smartphone (#1) to duct tape (#101) and include such game-changing ideas as:

  • the portable air conditioner invented in 1939 by Willis Haviland Carrier (#6);
  • the chain-driven safety bicycle invented around 1885 (#12);
  • the vacuum cleaner (#18);
  • the electric guitar invented in 1951 by Leo Fender (#28);
  • the Sony Walkman invented in 1979 (#45);
  • the fire extinguisher invented in 1723 (#46);
  • the lunchbox invented in 1950 (#63);
  • the blender invented in 1949 (#83);

As well as the safety razor, drip coffemaker, stapler, leaf blower, teflon pan, flash drive, zipper, and my personal favorite the amazing ginsu knife–that marvel of modern science and infomercials–that checks in at #87.

Which begs the question:  "How could we ever live without these things?"  And, in fact, we can't or couldn't…because almost all of us have owned the vast majority of these products at one time or another.  Which makes this article a delightful romp through the story of our lives.  So rush to your nearest newstand to grab a copy and use it as the start of a powerful conversation with your colleagues about the next great gadget.  The one your company or organization will create to reinvent your business and the value you deliver to customers!

 

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We win in business and in life when we appreciate the power of great gadgets.  Especially the ones that make life simpler, more productive, and more compelling.

Cheers!