David Friedman”s Inventor Portraits

David Friedman”s Inventor Portraits are an intimate and engaging look at inventors. In the series of photographs and videos of inventor”s telling their own story. They show and explain their inventions ranging from the convertible pizza box to the digital camera. This is by far the most fun and inspiring thing I”ve seen in a while.

Steven Sasson is the inventor of the digital camera and this was the one I saw over on SwissMiss.  I didn”t know that Mr. Sasson had invented the digital camera and liked his congenial explanation of the process behind it and how the first digital camera worked (tape!).

I loved listening to Brent Farley explain his madcap ideas while I ogled his off the wall interior. Watch as he explains how marketing is his weakness.

Inventor Portrait: Brent Farley from David Friedman on Vimeo.

William Walsh, developed a pizza box that splits up into plates. “I bought 50 or 100 pizza boxes — the guy thought I was out of my mind — and an exacto knife, and a straightedge ruler. I spent 3 or 4 days in my apartment creating different options, like different alternatives how I could utilize this base material to do something else.”

For some inventors there is video, others are acompanied by quotes and some stunning photography. We can see David Palmer, the inventor of the massage chair (for some reason I didn”t consider the massage chair to have an inventor before today); Joe Carolan, a firefighter who invented a quicker way to find people in a fire; Tom Roering invented a vehicle that is also an ice fishing shelter; Art Fry who invented something obscure called a “post it“, Julia Truchsess who invented the “Rolls Royce of  digital picture frames” that lost out to the competition and Pam Turner who invented a new knitting needle.  All of the Inventor Portraits can be found here.

I urge you to look, listen and read through them all. In a 3D printed age, you too can be an inventor and make things for yourself or everyone else. A democratization of design and manufacturing means that you can now make whatever you want, however you need to be. Paradigm shift is a ridiculously overused word. But, we are in the midst of a true paradigm shift from product development & manufacturing moving from organisations to individuals. 3D printing and the internet radically lower the barriers to acquiring, developing, prototyping, manufacturing and retailing technology. It won”t be the end of most mass manufacturing but 3D printing will usher in a third industrial revolution. Not everyone will want to be a manufacturer or inventor but for those people who do the rocky, difficult, expensive and steep path from an idea to product just became a comparative walk in the park. Read through these inventor”s stories and ask yourself how easy it would be for you to replicate their effort now. Ask yourself what you want to invent. Then make it. You don”t need any specific skills and after all we all used to be inventors when we were young.  Its just that most of us stopped when we got older.

Via Swiss Miss (great blog by the way if you don”t know it).