Creativity Kiosk: Practical solutions

Innovative ideas are often so practical people ask, “Why didn’t anyone think of that?”

I was reminded of this just this week. The peninsula where I live has cable ferries that carry the cars back and forth to the greater land mass of the city. Years ago, the first cable ferry was developed right here. Cable ferries get their name from the cable that runs from one side of the river to the other. On the ferry is a wheel that turns, causing the ferry to move across the stream of water.

What I discovered this week was that when William Pitt had his idea, people said he would NEVER be able to get the cable from one side to the other. Why? Because the cable was long, thick, and awkward – but most of all because it was incredibly heavy. No one, including Pitt, could envision putting it in a boat and unrolling it as the boat made its way across the water.

As a result, everyone said it couldn’t be done.

But Pitt refused to be boxed in – and set his mind to thinking in other directions.

To the amazement of everyone, he did it! And when he did, everyone asked, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

His solution? To wait until winter when the river was frozen. He then laid the cable on the ice and waited for warm weather to come, melt the ice, and thus gently place the cable in the water’s depths where it belonged.

The solution was so obvious. But no one thought of it.

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