The Segway did not change the world

The proposal quoted Steve Jobs saying the invention would be “as significant as the personal computer.” Jeff Bezos said it was “revolutionary.” But what was surprising about the book deal wasn’t merely the praise the invention and its inventor, Dean Kamen, garnered from tech world luminaries. It wasn’t merely the substantial investment the inventor had received from famed venture capitalist John Doerr, the largest in the firm Kleiner Perkins’ history. What stood out most of all was the detail that Harvard was paying a quarter-million dollars for the book—and it didn’t even know what the invention was. The inventor was paranoid about leaks, and the book’s author withheld that information from the proposal. No one—not even the literary agent who had submitted the proposal to editors, swearing them to secrecy—knew what the invention was. All they knew was the single word of the book’s title: IT… More here.

An excellent read if you have a few minutes spare.



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