Friday, March 17, 2006

American Inventor is a good thing

I missed the first half hour of American Inventor, but I caught all of the rest of it.

I'm really pleased by the show. I know that a lot of people are giving it a hard time. People think that it's not realistic. People think that it's scripted. I don't think these things though. If you were to have an open casting call of self-proclaimed inventors, you would get exactly this type of mix. There would only be a few good ideas and the rest of them would be really bad. Additionally, even with good ideas, there would be lots of bad pitches. It's not easy to create a good idea AND give a good pitch for it. That's the challenge behind the show.

I hope it survives to see a second season. I think the people who come to the second season will learn from the first and the process will go much more smoothly.

Regardless, I think it's a great idea to try to elevate "inventors" to the level of pop stars. Organizations like FIRST have tried to do something similar -- they try to put science and engineering on the same level as sports -- however, I think that American Inventor is doing it in a much more practical and far more visible way. How can that be a bad thing?

Doug Hall, one of the judges and also a member of an engineering think-tank that has produced so many products that the average household contains 18 of them, has said that the greatest inventions are the ones that at first convince you that they are the dumbest things you've ever seen and then gradually get you to see the genius behind them until you're not sure how you could have lived without them. I think American Inventor is going to be much of the same. At first it looks like an awful idea; however, as you keep watching, I think you'll start getting the point, and you'll get excited about it. I know I am.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I saw American Inventor and I give it mixed reviews. I thought they could have done alot better so I was a bit disappointed. Hoepfully, it gets better with the next show.

There's a fun discussion of it going on about "Does American Inventor Suck?" at
if you want to take a look.