The Law of Innovative Featherization


In the intense summer heat that was encapsulating all those residing in Italy in the year 1591, a young mathematics student named Baggio was strategically positioned under the shade of a well-placed olive tree about 100 metres from the Leaning Tower of Pisa. From there, he could just see his Professor of Mathematics, a man called Galileo Galilei, carefully reaching over a crumbling restraining wall at the top of the tower with both arms fully extended. In each hand, Galileo gently released two spheres of different mass in an attempt to prove one of his now famous laws.

However, on this particular attempt, one of the heavier spheres collided with an unfortunate pigeon that just happened to be flying past the tower. The result was a mass array of loosened feathers, a pigeon with a monster headache, and an angry Galileo uttering some obscenities knowing that he again needed to walk up the 284 steps and repeat the damn experiment!

Although Baggio did feel some empathy for his mathematics professor who was known to have consumed a tad too much pasta, and would have welcomed the invention of an elevator should it have existed, his gaze was fixed on the trajectory of the poor pigeon’s once owned feathers that now individually wofted with gleeful freedom in the prevailing wind gusts.

Little did Baggio know it, but this feather observation formed the basis of the now well known “Law of Innovative Featherization”, which some modern day students from the University of Pisa have colloquially named “Baggio’s Law” out of respect.

What Baggio identified was that creative ideas are like feathers. Once an idea is identified, it takes time to settle and to be slowly formulated into something practical and worthwhile. However, whilst that process is occurring, the idea floats around, just like a feather.

The key to “Baggio’s Law” is in how the creative feathers are accumulated, and then consolidated into what science now classifies as an invention. For example, not all birds that have feathers can fly. Similarly, not all ideas are useful.

In proving the “Law of Innovative Featherization”, scientists devised numerous clever experiments, some of which have been successful, unfortunately, many of which have failed, the latter being Baggio.

In 1593, after studying many a pigeon, a bare bottomed Baggio carefully applied a warm glue mixture to his body, then rolled around for about 5 minutes in a blanket of loose feathers to achieve the state of full featherization. Once the glue had set, and the feathers were firmly affixed, he, like Galileo, waddled up the 284 steps to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. There he waited for the right summer wind gust, took flight and flapped to his doom.

In 1903, the Wright brothers also tried to prove the “Law of Innovative Featherization”, however, unlike Baggio, they devised a flying machine that happily worked to the relief of Orville and Wilbur, and those fearfully watching.

With the “Law of Innovative Featherization” now proven and demonstrated, there was no stopping mankind from taking to the skies, and eventually into space, and it was all due to the insightful, yet luck-less, Baggio.

So next time you see a feather slowly dancing in the wind, take notice, stop and think of Baggio, but make sure you keep clear of any thoughts of glue application, as it will not assist your creative well-being, and just make you sticky.

The Mathematical Idea


If you were an accountant, just imagine if the unthinkable happened?  What if you were at the crucial stage in developing a strategic profit and loss statement, or an annual budget and you ran out of numbers!

Yes, instead of numbers being an unlimited thought concept, what if they were an actual physical asset that was purchased, had a market value, and were manufactured in a finite quantity? How would the accountant cope? If they ran out of “4”s, could they continue the financial analysis that they were working on by replacing the “4” with a “3”, after-all they are close? Somehow, I suspect not!

So why is it that some corporate organizations tend to have a greater proportion of innovative ideas compared to other companies? After all, aren’t ideas, like numbers unlimited and freely generated?

One probable answer is the culture of the organization and the environment that has been established to encourage and promote innovation of thought. Many progressive companies are well aware of this requirement and have developed a range of thought creation initiates to drive and maintain the innovation process focused on targeted applications. If we go back to the accountant, it is all very well have an unlimited supply of numbers, but the key is how these numbers are applied to a specific problem thereby creating a solution. The same can be said for ideas, it is great to have a plethora of them, but the real opportunity is obtained when they initiate a creative solution that leads to additional sales revenue via a new market or product.

So next time you use your calculator to solve a mathematical problem, try to think of the numbers on the keys from a slightly different perspective. Why not view those numbers as the inputs for a range of ideas which when combined via a systematic approach lead to the generation of a creative and new solution. By the way, in this calculator there would be no “Error” function, for when generating ideas, there are no mistakes, just opportunities for improvement!

%d bloggers like this: