Mistakes for Sale


July 20, 2015

 Today, we’re talking about mistakes.  Everyone makes them at one time or another.  Mrs. Hooley, who is an institution in Miller, always said, “Mistakes teach you valuable lessons.”  Turns out she knew what she was talking about, who knew, right?  After making a rather costly mistake, this intrepid blogger (TIB) googled mistakes in an attempt to feel less like an idiot.  It is mind-boggling to see how many industrious men and women refused to be stymied by something as inconsequential as a mistake. So rather than expound on what an idiot TIB is, let’s just focus on the more interesting mistakes that turned out to be major money makers.

Some of the strangest are corn flakes (the Kellogg brothers intended to make a healthy food that would decrease sexual urges!!!), Coca Cola (Pemberton attempted to create a remedy for headache—does anyone else find it ironic that once you are addicted to Coca Cola if you don’t drink it you get a headache?), Post-It Notes (Silver hoped to create a stronger adhesive but created a weaker adhesive that he found useful for sticking notes on pages of books), saccharine (discovered because Falhberg a chemist working on coal tar derivatives did not wash his hands before eating—can you say EEEWWWW!). 

The seemingly endless list includes pace makers and Viagra (yes, the little blue pill—it was supposed to be a medicine that would oxygenate the heart—seems like their experiment went a little south). 

Also making the list are White-out, Scotchgard, chocolate chip cookies, microwave ovens, potato chips, and vulcanized rubber (a mistake Goodyear has never tired of). 

Oh, no, we’re not done yet.  A few more items on the list are Vaseline, Velcro, penicillin, super glue, silly putty, Play-doh (which began its life as a wall paper cleaner that teachers used for art project in their classes), ink jet printers, x-rays, Frisbees, and the ever popular Slinky.  

 It makes you wonder if anything was invented on purpose.  All of these unintentional success certainly give new meaning to Edison’s words, “You learn more from mistakes and failures than you do from success.”  Maybe he should have said earn instead of learn?  Just a thought. 


 

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