It’s often said that breakthroughs cannot be scheduled. I’m here to explain how this really is twentieth century thinking. The statement assumes that the word “breakthrough” is unambiguously defined. This website post questions that assumption and offers a step-by-step self-help guide to achieving a breakthrough. My focus is on batteries, but with a few tweaks, you could adapt this for other locations also.
Let me begin by proclaiming that over the last century there is a feeling a breakthrough was believed to be when, for instance, you discover a new material for li ion battery pack containing, say, higher energy or possibly is safer or something that is. Those kinds of breakthroughs then check out the traditional rigmarole of publications, licensing, technology transfer, peer appreciation, awards, products and the other boring items that takes 2 decades to get settled. In age of Twitter, Facebook, Uber, and, Snapchat, these kinds of time period is designed for the people unwilling to appear to new ways of achieving breakthroughs. If you participate in this “old” club, Make sure you move ahead. This informative guide is going to be of no use for you.
But just what is a breakthrough anyway? So far as I know there is not any body that proclaims something a breakthrough (a Pope for science?). And is also there really such a thing as an eureka moment? Even when you have one, it will likely be each year before you reproduce the experiment and have each of the techniques in location to prove it. And in case the breakthrough is supposed to become a product, it will require you 10 more years to scale it to make it.
But what if there have been a respected publication that really called something a breakthrough. Then this became validated and verified by other publications saying the same? That looks to be consistent with the scientific method, does it not?
So, for your purposes of advancing, allow us to define a breakthrough as just that: It can be proclaimed as such by several publication. Also to allow us to move forward, publications will probably be broadly classified as a peer reviewed journal article, or possibly a newspaper, or possibly a blog, or possibly a tweet etc. i.e., so long as the word breakthrough as well as your work display on the net somewhere, you happen to be golden. This informative guide will allow you to get there.
Step One: Before you start the studies, do not see the literature. The peer-reviewed literature is full of things which have been tried before. If you read them carefully, then what you are actually doing is definitely not new. Remember this mantra (thanks to NBC when they were promoting reruns within the 90s): “If you haven’t seen it before, its new to you”.
Step Two: While you start the studies, remember that facts just get in the way. The literature is loaded with facts (hence Step 1). In 1492 everyone thought the entire world was flat; until Columbus took for the seas.1 Then we all think it is round, until Tom Friedman proved it had been flat. Until The Matrix came out, we thought gravity was forever binding us on the earth. Breakthroughs happen when these laws are broken and it takes a bold person to visit where no person went before. To paraphrase Marsellus Wallace from Pulp Fiction, you may 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 along with you. f* facts.
Step 3: Now that you did your homework and ignored everything, it is time to focus. Attempt to work towards a newly-discovered material, or atleast one that has been forgotten for quite a while. It is really an important step. Just as much as you can go after Steps 1 and 2, the better studied the information, the harder it is actually to convince yourself that you are violating each of the well-known laws because you are charting a fresh path rather than screwing up. It’s far less difficult to think this if it’s a completely new material. Graphene is useful (much less a battery material, but remember Step 2). So might be fullerenes (granted they can be old, but it feels like it is time to revisit them). Graphite, on the flip side, could be bad; until you plan to apply it in the new way; in which case it might be good. Lithium metal is ALWAYS good; but if you are going this route you should get religion on Steps 1 and 2.
Step 4: As you may start getting data on the new invention, revisit Step 2. Revisit it often, especially when you really feel down.
Step 5: Time for you to start writing the paper. Always state that your invention is preferable to Li-ion. The only way to get anyone excited is always to claim that. This may sound hard, but it is not. There are lots of metrics that must be satisfied for industrial battery, including, energy, power, charge time, cost, life, safety, low temperature and temperature stability. If you feel that you have something that looks better in every one of these simple, you are doing better than Li-ion. Expense is the 55dexhpky one if all else fails. You can always safely say something such as “our preliminary cost estimates suggest that the battery will definitely cost under something-small/kWh”. Other end of your spectrum is energy, which is the hardest. Should you drop 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 based on pixie dust possess a longer driving range comparable to Li-ion EVs” or “our batteries can be charged in 5 minutes, providing more energy than any battery proven to man or aliens. On a separate note, we only seem to get one cycle from your battery; we believe it has something related to aliens”
Step 7: The paper is prepared in fact it is a chance to submit. Never send the paper into a journal which specializes in publishing papers in batteries. This will likely get your paper in the hands of traditional battery-types who remember past history, understand what works and precisely what does not, and also a strong scientific foundation from the field. Such knowledge is definitely an impediment to the out-of-the-box thinking. Remember Step Two. Always go with a journal that is certainly disconnected through the battery field.
Step 8: Using the paper popping out, it can be time and energy to get ready for a press release. Do not forget that the press wishes to hear that this can be a breakthrough. So despite what the peer-reviewed paper proves, be sure you think of it a breakthrough at the press release. Do not forget that Steve Jobs failed to actually have a working iPhone as he announced it around the world, and declared that they will ship in half a year. If it is good enough for Steve, I’m sure it really is suitable for yourself. So don’t be shy in telling the press how great 18650 li ion battery will likely be. Be sure that you give interviews to numerous publications. Remember our concept of a breakthrough: you will need multiple publications to state it really is one. So target many outlets.
Step 9: The time has arrived; the publications are out; and you have spend the higher area of the day googling yourself to observe how far the saying has spread. This is the day if you may hear skepticism (some contained throughout the articles and others in emails addressed for your needs). Remember Step Two. Remind yourself how the iPhone had many critics (e.g, the proximity sensor will never work. Who would want to surf the web over a phone anyway? Atleast they got the 1st problem right!). If it resolved for Steve Jobs, then it could workout to suit your needs too.