Norm Larsen had a problem. He’d been trying to formulate a waterproof barrier for rocket fuel tanks but it was not going well.

The first five formulas had failed to do the trick and the next five weren’t much better. Neither were the next ten, nor did the ten after that. So he tried again.

And again. And again. And again.

And again and again and again.

And again and again and again.

After 39 unsuccessful attempts Norm did something incredible: he tried again.

Happily, his ‘Water Dispersant Formula #40’ did the trick. (Today we call it ‘WD40’ for short).

Pick any invention and you’re bound to hear the same story; nothing works the first time and almost nothing works the next 20 times after that. After 1000 failed attempts at the incandescent light, Edison was asked ‘why haven’t you discovered anything yet?’ to which he replied ‘I have discovered a thousand things that don’t work!’

Like Wylie Coyote, Edison knew the quickest way to find a great idea is to try everything you can think until something works. Go for quantity, test for quality.

It’s not just the Nature of Design… it’s the Design of Nature.

It’s how every living thing got here; the fossil record reveals multiple versions of every organism we see around us today… including us.

At least 14 different species of human have lived during the last two million years and as many as four existed at the same time. Of course, today there’s just us.

That’s right; you’re Human Being #14.
Or ‘HB14’ for short.

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Written by Jason Clarke

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Celebrated author, adventurer, gold medal Olympian and popular TV chef; Jason is none of these things. He is, however, one of the most sought-after creative minds in the country. As founder of Minds at Work, he’s helped people ‘think again’ since the end of the last century, working with clients across Australia in virtually every industry and government sector on issues ranging from creativity and trouble shooting to culture change and leadership.