If dogs are man’s best friend, then knowledge comes a close second. There are people who know much more than you and me. Their intellect is to us as LeBron Jame’s basketball skill is to us. It’s just harder to see and comprehend.
One such person is Lowell Wood. He solves big problems. He’s a go-to guy for Bill Gates. He recently passed Thomas Edison as the person with the most US. Patents, the most prolific inventor in U.S history. He knows about vaccines, astrophysics, paleontology, concussions, star wars lasers, humanitarian projects, automated anti-collusion systems for vehicles, you name it.
You should read How an F Student Became America’s Most Prolific Inventor from Bloomberg Business. You really should.
A couple of tastes:
“I thought it was just the brain slamming against the interior of the skull, particularly violently. Basically that has nothing to do with what a real concussion is.”
“It’s like the ancient legend of Achilles. His mother grabbed him by the heel, dipped him in the water, and he was invulnerable to weaponry forever after. Vaccination is just exactly like that. Lethal diseases? You just laugh. They can’t touch you.”
On a super-fast plane:
“From a physics standpoint, you’re just raining down on the local air, the gravitational flux on the plane. You want the plane to effectively be weightless, to hang where it is. So you just want to take the interaction of the earth’s gravity with the plane and give it to the air. The earth is kind of a waste product. It just takes the gravitational flux and carries it away, and who cares what it does with it? That’s all. That’s not asking for too much from a physics standpoint.”
Did you get that?
Because after all the interesting facts and mind-blowing accomplishments, a clear lesson is that there are talents and knowledge out there that we don’t possess. In fact, no one in your organization/business possesses those talents. That’s okay. A lot of this stuff doesn’t apply to you. But what about when it does apply?
This lack of knowledge doesn’t have to be of the extraordinary variety, like provided by Mr. Wood. It’s enough to know that what you don’t know and what you can’t do can hurt you.