It’s often mentioned that breakthroughs should not be scheduled. I’m here to inform you that this can be twentieth century thinking. The statement assumes that the word “breakthrough” is unambiguously defined. This web site post questions that assumption and provides one step-by-step self-help guide to achieving a breakthrough. My focus is on batteries, but by incorporating tweaks, you can adapt this for other areas also.
Permit me to start by saying that in the last century there was a feeling which a breakthrough was considered to be when, as an example, you discover a whole new material for li ion battery which includes, say, higher energy or maybe safer or anything. Those varieties of breakthroughs then go through the traditional rigmarole of publications, licensing, technology transfer, peer appreciation, awards, products and the other boring things which takes 20 years to have settled. In age Twitter, Facebook, Uber, and, Snapchat, these kinds of time period is for the folks unwilling to look to new methods for achieving breakthroughs. When you fit in with this “old” club, I suggest you proceed. This article will probably be of no use for your needs.
But what is a breakthrough anyway? As far as I know there is absolutely no body that proclaims something a breakthrough (a Pope for science?). And it is there really this for an eureka moment? Even if you have one, it will likely be per year before you could reproduce the experiment and get every one of the approaches to destination to prove it. And if the breakthrough should really become a product, it may need you 10 more years to scale it and then make it.
But what happens if there are a respected publication which actually called something a breakthrough. After which it was validated and verified by other publications saying the same thing? That seems to be consistent with the scientific method, would it not?
So, for your purposes of moving forward, allow us to define a breakthrough as simply that: It is actually proclaimed as such by a couple of publication. And to allow us to move ahead, publications will likely be broadly considered a peer reviewed journal article, or perhaps a newspaper, or a blog, or possibly a tweet etc. i.e., so long as the term breakthrough and your work appear on the internet somewhere, you happen to be golden. This guide will help you get there.
Step One: Before you start the study, try not to see the literature. The peer-reviewed literature is filled with things that were tried before. If you read them carefully, then what you are actually doing will not be new. Remember this mantra (courtesy of NBC when they were promoting reruns from the 90s): “If you haven’t seen it before, its new to you”.
Step Two: While you start the investigation, understand that facts just get in how. The literature is stuffed with facts (hence Step 1). In 1492 everyone thought the world was flat; until Columbus took towards the seas.1 We all thought it was round, until Tom Friedman proved it absolutely was flat. Until The Matrix arrived, we thought gravity was forever binding us for the earth. Breakthroughs happen when these laws are broken and it also requires a bold person to go where no person went before. To paraphrase Marsellus Wallace from Pulp Fiction, you could feel a little sting every once in a while when it appears as though you are violating faraday’s law. These are the facts f*ing along with you. f* facts.
Step 3: As you now did your research and ignored everything, it is time for you to focus. Try and work with a newly-discovered material, or atleast one which has been forgotten for quite a while. It becomes an important step. Just as much as it is possible to go after Steps 1 and two, the greater number of studied the information, the harder it really is to prove to yourself that you will be violating all the well known laws as you are charting a new path as opposed to screwing up. It’s far less difficult to believe this if it’s a whole new material. Graphene is useful (less a battery material, but remember Step Two). So are fullerenes (granted these are old, but it seems like its time to revisit them). Graphite, on the flip side, could possibly be bad; unless you decide to utilize it within a new way; in which case it can be good. Lithium metal is definitely good; but if you are going this route you should get religion on Steps 1 and 2.
Step 4: While you start to get data on the new invention, revisit Step 2. Revisit many times, it, specially when you really feel down.
Step 5: Time to start writing the paper. Always state that your invention is preferable to Li-ion. The only method to get anyone excited is always to state that. This might sound hard, yet it is not. There are many metrics that should be satisfied for industrial battery pack, including, energy, power, charge time, cost, life, safety, low temperature and temperature stability. If you think you might have an issue that looks better in every one of these simple, you are carrying out superior to Li-ion. Pricing is the 55dexhpky one if everything else fails. You can always safely say such as “our preliminary cost estimates propose that battery will surely cost lower than something-small/kWh”. Opposite end from the spectrum is energy, the hardest. In the event you decline this path you really want 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 according to pixie dust have a longer driving range much like Li-ion EVs” or “our batteries may be charged in five minutes, providing more energy than any battery proven to man or aliens. On a separate note, we merely manage to acquire one cycle from my battery; we think this has something connected with aliens”
Step 7: The paper is ready and it is time for you to submit. Never send the paper to your journal that specializes in publishing papers in batteries. This will get your paper in to the hands of traditional battery-types who remember past history, determine what works and just what does not, and also a strong scientific foundation within the field. Such knowledge can be an impediment in your out-of-the-box thinking. Remember Step 2. Always go with a journal that may be disconnected through the battery field.
Step 8: Together with the paper popping out, it is time and energy to get ready for a press release. Remember that the press desires to hear that this is a breakthrough. So despite just what the peer-reviewed paper proves, be sure you refer to it as a breakthrough with the press release. Do not forget that Steve Jobs failed to really have a working iPhone when he announced it to everyone, and declared that they might ship in six months. When it is adequate for Steve, I’m sure it really is good enough to suit your needs. So don’t be shy in telling the press how great 18650 battery pack is going to be. Be sure that you give interviews to numerous publications. Remember our concise explanation of a breakthrough: you require multiple publications to mention it really is one. So target many outlets.
Step 9: The day is here; the publications are out; and you will have spend the more effective part of the day googling you to ultimately observe how far the word has spread. Here is the day if you may hear skepticism (some contained in the articles as well as others in emails addressed for your needs). Remember Step 2. Remind yourself the iPhone had many critics (e.g, the proximity sensor will not work. Who may wish to browse the net on the phone anyway? Atleast they got the first problem right!). If it resolved for Steve Jobs, it could work out for you personally too.