I want to discuss an Inventor that has been sadly overlooked. His name is Wile E. Coyote. Yes, I know he is a cartoon character. Yet, he has qualities we all need to emulate to be the best possible Inventor. If more of us possessed his drive and willpower who knows what levels of achievement could be reached.
If you have ever watched a Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote cartoon there is a hidden lesson to be learned. We all know that the Coyote never catches the Road Runner. That would have ended the show if he did. What I want to focus on is Wile E. Coyote’s drive and creativity.
Wile E. Coyote has that special X-Factor that most Inventors lack. Wile E. Coyote has the drive to get back up and try again and again and again, no matter the odds, no matter the obstacles.
Here is a character that has been blown up, smashed, electrocuted, run over by a train, a truck, a steam roller, cut in half, set on fire, fallen from every known height, been shot out of a cannon, clung to a speeding rocket sled, tied rockets to his back, his shoes, and faced countless other dangers all to attain his one single goal, catching the Road Runner.
Most Inventors stop at the very first road block they hit or rejection letter they receive and give up. Not Wile E. Coyote. When one attempt doesn’t work out as planned he pulls himself together, dusts himself off and is back at the drawing board thinking about his next plan of attack. He is always coming up with a new method to meet the same goal. This is a major lesson for Inventors. If you hit a wall, or get a rejection, stop, evaluate why you hit the wall, what are your options, devise a new strategy and move on. Learn from your mistakes and seek a better way to get to the goal you are wanting.
Look at different Inventors in history. They all had some version of Wile E. Coyotes’ X-factor. Do you think Edison made the light bulb on his first attempt or Alexander Graham Bell got the telephone right the first time. It was all trial and error, with a heavy dose of error. It is said that Edison tried over 10,000 times before he got the light bulb right. When asked about it Edison stated that he did not fail 10,000 times. He just found 10,000 ways that will not work. That has to be the ultimate optimist glass half full response in history.
Do you have the determination to try something that many times to get to your end result? The common thread that ties most famous/successful Inventors together is they did not give up. Yes, they were disappointed that things didn’t work out on the first attempt, but they were able to look at their failure and come back to the problem from another angle. If this new angle doesn’t work they try again and again. They are constantly thinking outside the box.
Wile E. Coyote never limited himself to one option. He used his creativity to explore ever avenue available. If he failed, it only made him more determined to make the next attempt work.
That is why I think Wile E. Coyote is the poster child for determination. No matter what you throw at him he is right back at it trying again and again. He never loses hope of attaining his goal. He knows he can accomplish his goal. It just hasn’t happened yet.
This attitude is one that every Inventor needs to succeed. It is very easy to get depressed about getting a “NO” and just letting everything drop. No one likes rejection. Especially when it is an idea you have that you are hoping will provide you with income. What defines you as an Inventor is your response to rejection. I am not saying just dismiss the rejection. I want you to honestly look at the rejection. Consider their comments and see if you agree or disagree with their assessment. Don’t automatically disagree just because you don’t like getting a “No”. Try and see “Why” you got a “No” and make a logical decision to proceed or if it is time to drop the idea and move on to the next one. Or are there things you need to address and correct? Are you getting your inventions benefits across to the reviewer? Use these rejections to redefine and upgrade your invention to be the best it can for your next presentation.
Learning to adapt and improve are key attributes for any Inventor. The more you learn from your mistakes the fewer mistakes you will hopefully make. You will never reach perfection, but as our friend Wile E Coyote demonstrates you can’t give up if you want to reach your goal.