It’s often said that breakthroughs cannot be scheduled. I’m here to let you know that this can be twentieth century thinking. The statement assumes how the word “breakthrough” is unambiguously defined. This web site post questions that assumption and offers one step-by-step guide to achieving a breakthrough. My focus is on batteries, but with just a few tweaks, you can adapt this for other places also.
Permit me to start with praoclaiming that within the last century there was clearly a feeling that the breakthrough was believed to be when, for instance, you find a brand new material for li ion battery manufacturer containing, say, higher energy or is safer or something that is. Those sorts of breakthroughs then glance at the traditional rigmarole of publications, licensing, technology transfer, peer appreciation, awards, products and all of those other boring things which takes 2 decades to acquire settled. In the age of Twitter, Facebook, Uber, and, Snapchat, this type of period of time is made for the folks unwilling to search to new methods of achieving breakthroughs. If you belong to this “old” club, It is best to go forward. This article is going to be of no use for you.
But what exactly is a breakthrough anyway? In terms of I am aware there is no body that proclaims something a breakthrough (a Pope for science?). And is also there really such a thing as an eureka moment? Although you may have one, it will be annually before you could reproduce the experiment and get every one of the approaches to destination to prove it. Of course, if the breakthrough is supposed to be described as a product, it will take you 10 more years to scale it and then make it.
But imagine if there have been a respected publication which actually called something a breakthrough. And after that this became validated and verified by other publications saying exactly the same thing? That seems to be in step with the scientific method, can it not?
So, for that purposes of advancing, allow us to define a breakthrough as that: It can be proclaimed therefore by multiple publication. And to allow us to move forward, publications will likely be broadly considered a peer reviewed journal article, or possibly a newspaper, or possibly a blog, or even a tweet etc. i.e., given that the word breakthrough along with your work appear on the World Wide Web somewhere, you are golden. This informative guide will assist you to arrive.
Step One: Before you start the study, try not to look at the literature. The peer-reviewed literature is full of things which were tried before. When you read them carefully, then what you really are doing will not be new. Consider this mantra (courtesy of NBC after they were promoting reruns within the 90s): “If you haven’t seen it before, its a new comer to you”.
Step 2: While you start the studies, remember that facts just get in the manner. The literature is stuffed with facts (hence Step One). In 1492 everyone thought the world was flat; until Columbus took to the seas.1 Then we all thought it was round, until Tom Friedman proved it was flat. Up Until The Matrix arrived, we thought gravity was forever binding us on the earth. Breakthroughs happen when these laws are broken plus it needs a bold person to travel where no person went before. To paraphrase Marsellus Wallace from Pulp Fiction, you could feel a little sting once in a while when it appears as if you will be violating faraday’s law. Those are the facts f*ing along. f* facts.
Step Three: Now you did your homework and ignored everything, it can be time to focus. Try to work with a newly-discovered material, or atleast one that has been forgotten for quite a while. It is really an important step. Up to you may go after Steps 1 and 2, the more studied the material, the harder it is actually to prove to yourself that you are currently violating all of the well known laws since you are charting a fresh path instead of screwing up. It’s much simpler to assume this if it’s a completely new material. Graphene is great (not quite as a battery material, but remember Step 2). So might be fullerenes (granted they can be old, but it seems like its time to revisit them). Graphite, on the flip side, might be bad; if you do not decide to make use of it inside a new way; whereby it might be good. Lithium metal is obviously good; however if you are going this route you will need to get religion on Steps 1 and 2.
Step 4: When you start to get data about the new invention, revisit Step Two. Revisit many times, it, particularly when you sense down.
Step 5: Time for you to start writing the paper. Always suggest that your invention is preferable to Li-ion. The only way to get anyone excited would be to claim that. This might sound hard, yet it is not. There are lots of metrics that ought to be satisfied for industrial battery, including, energy, power, charge time, cost, life, safety, low temperature and high temperature stability. If you think that you possess something which looks better in any one of these simple, you are carrying out superior to Li-ion. Expense is the 55dexhpky one if everything else fails. You can safely say something such as “our preliminary cost estimates suggest that battery will cost lower than something-small/kWh”. Opposite end of the spectrum is energy, which is the hardest. In the event you decline this path you actually need Step 6.
Step 6: Always confuse energy with power. It’s completely appropriate to express “Our pixie dust battery can discharge an aspect of 10 faster than Li-ion, therefore EVs depending on pixie dust have got a longer driving range corresponding to Li-ion EVs” or “our batteries can be charged in five minutes, providing more energy than any battery known to man or aliens. Over a separate note, we just seem to obtain one cycle from the battery; we think this has something related to aliens”
Step 7: The paper is ready and it is time to submit. Never send the paper into a journal that are experts in publishing papers in batteries. This will buy your paper into the hands of traditional battery-types who remember past history, determine what works and just what does not, and have a strong scientific foundation in the field. Such knowledge can be an impediment to your out-of-the-box thinking. Remember Step Two. Always pick a journal which is disconnected through the battery field.
Step 8: With all the paper coming out, it can be time and energy to prepare for a press release. Keep in mind that the press wishes to hear that this can be a breakthrough. So despite what the peer-reviewed paper proves, ensure you consider it a breakthrough on the press release. Remember that Steve Jobs failed to genuinely have a working iPhone when he announced it around the globe, and asserted that they might ship in half a year. When it is adequate for Steve, I’m sure it really is sufficient to suit your needs. So don’t be shy in telling the press how great 18650 rechargeable battery is going to be. Be sure that you give interviews to numerous publications. Remember our meaning of a breakthrough: you want multiple publications to state it is one. So target many outlets.
Step 9: The morning has arrived; the publications are out; and you will have spend the better portion of the day googling yourself to see how far the word has spread. Here is the day once 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 not work. Who would like to surf the net over a phone anyway? Atleast they got the first problem right!). Whether it determined for Steve Jobs, it could figure out to suit your needs too.