“Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself.”
— Charlie Chaplin
Are you willing to take a risk of trying something others would think is foolish? My friend Peter and I did what others thought was impossible. At the height of the AIDs epidemic, I was working at an Ivy league training hospital and Peter was an expert motivational speaker and a true renaissance man. I saw that some of the hospital staff were getting stuck by trying to recap needles that could be carrying pathogens. I went to our purchasing department and asked were there any needles on the market that could be purchased that would prevent needle stick injuries? He couldn't find any.
That evening Peter and I were eating at a restaurant, and I complained about the injury situation. He listened and drew a solution on a napkin. This started a ten-year process where two guys that didn't know anything about patterns and manufacturing invented the model for the most used needle in the world.
If you have an idea to share with the world be prepared to deal with doubters. Failure is just listening to the crowd when you know you should be taking a chance but make sure you do the hard work along the way.
Horace said, "Don't think, just do."
Horace was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Emperor Augustus. Well, Horace had a point, but doing without thinking will not work. Peter and I created a plan that researched each step of the process from funding, legal support, manufacturing. We tested each phase until we felt we were ready to move to the next stage of the project. Researching and asking questions became our joint habit.
The other day I got my Covid shot, sure enough, they were using a needle that looked like the needle Peter and I created. Our story is too complicated to share in a blog with an unbelievable cast of characters and events. Was it worth it? Not in a monetary sense. If the needle we created saved one person's life; I would do it all over again.