It’s often mentioned that breakthroughs cannot be scheduled. I’m here to tell you that this is certainly twentieth century thinking. The statement assumes how the word “breakthrough” is unambiguously defined. This blog post questions that assumption and gives a step-by-step guide to achieving a breakthrough. My focus is on batteries, but with some tweaks, you could adapt this for other locations also.
I want to begin by stating that in the last century there was a feeling which a breakthrough was believed to be when, for instance, you discover a new material for li ion battery manufacturer containing, say, higher energy or perhaps is safer or anything. Those sorts of breakthroughs then go through the traditional rigmarole of publications, licensing, technology transfer, peer appreciation, awards, products and the rest of the boring items that takes 2 decades to acquire settled. In age of Twitter, Facebook, Uber, and, Snapchat, these kinds of period of time is made for the people unwilling to search to new means of achieving breakthroughs. When you participate in this “old” club, It is best to move ahead. This informative guide will likely be of no use to you personally.
But what exactly is a breakthrough anyway? With regards to I realize there is no body that proclaims something a breakthrough (a Pope for science?). Which is there really such a thing being an eureka moment? Although you may have one, it will be per year before you reproduce the experiment and get every one 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 and then make it.
But what if there were a professional publication which actually called something a breakthrough. And then this is validated and verified by other publications saying the same? That is apparently in line with the scientific method, will it not?
So, for your purpose of moving forward, let us define a breakthrough as simply that: It can be proclaimed as a result by more than one publication. And to allow us to advance, publications will be broadly considered a peer reviewed journal article, or possibly a newspaper, or perhaps a blog, or perhaps a tweet etc. i.e., so long as the phrase breakthrough plus your work display on the internet somewhere, you are golden. This article will help you arrive.
Step 1: Before starting the study, do not see the literature. The peer-reviewed literature is loaded with things which were tried before. Should you read them carefully, then what you will be doing will not be new. Consider this mantra (thanks to NBC whenever they were promoting reruns inside the 90s): “If you haven’t seen it before, its a novice to you”.
Step 2: When you start the studies, do not forget that facts just get in the manner. The literature is filled with facts (hence Step 1). In 1492 everyone thought the entire world was flat; until Columbus took to the seas.1 Then we all think it is round, until Tom Friedman proved it had been flat. Until The Matrix arrived, we thought gravity was forever binding us for the earth. Breakthroughs happen when these laws are broken and yes it requires a bold person to visit where no person has gone before. To paraphrase Marsellus Wallace from Pulp Fiction, you may feel a small sting once in a while when it feels like you will be violating faraday’s law. These are the facts f*ing with you. f* facts.
Step 3: Now you did your due diligence and ignored everything, it is actually time and energy to focus. Make an effort to focus on a newly-discovered material, or atleast one that has been forgotten for a while. It is an important step. Around you may go after Steps 1 and two, the greater number of studied the fabric, the harder it really is to convince yourself that you are currently violating all the famous laws because you are charting a whole new path rather than screwing up. It’s so much easier to assume this if it’s a brand new material. Graphene is good (not quite as battery power material, but remember Step 2). So might be fullerenes (granted these are old, but it appears as though its time to revisit them). Graphite, however, could possibly be bad; except if you want to use it inside a new way; in which case it might be good. Lithium metal is definitely good; however if you go this route you will need to get religion on Steps 1 and two.
Step 4: As you may start to get data about the new invention, revisit Step 2. Revisit it often, particularly if you are feeling down.
Step 5: Time to start writing the paper. Always state that your invention is preferable to Li-ion. The best way to get anyone excited is usually to claim that. This may sound hard, however it is not. There are lots of metrics that should be satisfied for industrial battery, including, energy, power, charge time, cost, life, safety, low temperature and temperature stability. If you feel you might have something which looks better in any one of these brilliant, you are carrying out much better than Li-ion. Cost is the 55dexhpky one if all else fails. You could safely say something like “our preliminary cost estimates propose that the battery will cost lower than something-small/kWh”. Other end of the spectrum is energy, the hardest. If you drop this path you really want Step 6.
Step 6: Always confuse energy with power. It’s completely appropriate to say “Our pixie dust battery can discharge one factor of 10 faster than Li-ion, therefore EVs based upon pixie dust have a longer driving range similar to Li-ion EVs” or “our batteries might be charged in five minutes, providing more energy than any battery proven to man or aliens. On a separate note, we simply seem to acquire one cycle from our battery; we think it has something connected to aliens”
Step 7: The paper is prepared and is particularly time to submit. Never send the paper to some journal that are experts in publishing papers in batteries. This will likely obtain your paper in the hands of traditional battery-types who remember past history, understand what works and just what does not, and have a strong scientific foundation in the field. Such knowledge is an impediment for your out-of-the-box thinking. Remember Step Two. Always choose a journal that is disconnected through the battery field.
Step 8: With the paper being released, it really is a chance to get prepared for a press release. Keep in mind that the press desires to hear that this is a breakthrough. So despite precisely what the peer-reviewed paper proves, ensure you consider it a breakthrough on the press release. Understand that Steve Jobs did not have a working iPhone as he announced it around the world, and declared that they could ship in six months. If it is suitable for Steve, I’m sure it is good enough for you. So don’t be shy in telling the press how great 18650 rechargeable battery will probably be. Make certain you give interviews to numerous publications. Remember our definition of a breakthrough: you need multiple publications to express it is actually one. So target many outlets.
Step 9: The day is here; the publications are out; and you have spend the better section of the day googling you to ultimately discover how far the word has spread. This is actually the day whenever you may hear skepticism (some contained in the articles among others in emails addressed to you). Remember Step Two. Remind yourself the iPhone had many critics (e.g, the proximity sensor will never work. Who may wish to browse the net on a phone anyway? Atleast they got the 1st problem right!). Whether it worked out for Steve Jobs, that could work out for you too.