Our InvENtor Spotlight for December is on williamj.! William has been a member of the Edison Nation community since 2010 and is an active Insider!
Where is your hometown?
I was born and raised in Chicago, and that is always home to me.
Where do you currently reside?
I currently live in Park Forest, IL. I’ve been here for over forty years.
What is your professional background?
I’ve had a lot of different jobs in my working life but I finally settled on multi-craft industrial maintenance. Duties include electrical, mechanical, hydraulics and pneumatics. I’m so blue collar that the dirt under my fingernails dates back to the 1950s.
How did you initially hear about Edison Nation?
Just surfing the web for more information on “Everyday Edisons” and was led astray to this place called Edison Nation.
What inspired you to start inventing?
It wasn’t so much inspiration that got me into inventing, it was more of a natural progression from my multitude of work-related responsibilities. Being responsible for the repair of a 100-year-old piece equipment (with no drawings, instructions or parts) required creative thinking and the ability to bring that creative thinking into reality.
Do you find that invention ideas come to you, or, do you have to go after them?
Seeing that my “inventing” capabilities spring from my various work responsibilities, I would have to say for the majority of ideas and concepts I have to go after. However, every once-in-a-while a few ideas have just “popped” into my head.
When did you come up with your first great idea?
My first “Great” idea… must have been back in the late 70’s, back when solid state electronics was just coming to the forefront of electronic design. I had been experimenting with different components and the epiphany hit me, 3D TV. I just knew it would work but, of course, I had absolutely no idea of how I should proceed. So I kept the whole idea all to myself and went on with my life.
Have you ever collaborated with another inventor(s) on a project? If so, how was that experience for you?
So far the stars haven’t been properly aligned for that yet.
What are some general industry trends you have noticed recently?
What I have noticed is that what really sells are the disposable items. To my mind, it’s all the items that I consider to have little substantial value to them, all the pet rocks and those little finger spinner thingies. Makes no sense to me.
You have been an EN member since 2010, can you provide us with some details around your experiences and journey to date?
It has, literally been, that proverbial roller coaster ride. The ups and downs, the highs and lows have, at times, been in the extreme. After several temper tantrums, it finally dawned on me that the only times the lows have been in the extreme was when I let my emotions take over. After that, the lows have not been all that low anymore.
What advice would you tell others embarking on their own invention journeys?
Overall, enjoy the whole process.
“Everyone, just enjoy the highs and the lows. But if you can’t enjoy the lows, at least learn from them.”
What would you consider as your biggest failure and what did you learn from it?
My biggest failure? Well that takes us right back to “My First Great Idea”.
After I was satisfied that EN was the real deal, I figured that it was time for me to jump in with both feet and submit my greatest idea. So I enlisted the help of one John Vilardi to really show off my masterpiece. In John’s effort to display my concept in the best possible light John included an animation that just didn’t quite work. (Thank you John)
When I first came up with my idea I had never heard of the word homework in connection with inventing something. So, as a last resort, because of John’s animation, I finally did my homework.
I found that 3D perceptions aren’t produced with the electronics or the mechanics of any particular device. As it happens, all 3D perceptions occur between the viewer’s ears. It’s the human mind that takes two different views of the same object and merges them into a single 3D perception.
What are some other fun facts about yourself that you’d like to share with the EN community?
A lot of EN’s forum members already know what’s been happening with me lately so I’m just going to say… It’s fun to still be sucking wind.