Innovation You Can Employ in your deck (Part 2) 18th July 2015

The importance of time

Innovation is often thought of, as those huge groundbreaking ideas that change the planet. Things like the wheel, the computer, telephone, aeroplane etc. However innovation must also include the countless micro-ideas that are needed to exploit the "big" idea.

For example there have been inumerable developments on the gramophone since Thomas Edison first invented it back in 1877. You would be right in saying this is all very obvious but the point is that most innovation is slow and almost imperceptible in comparison to the "big idea". The first computer was a huge innovation but it's taken around 70 years to get fromTuring's large room filled with valves to the far more powerful handheld devices now available.

The temptation is to imagine that a few great ideas will lead to an amazing product. The truth is that it's much more a matter of getting a vast array of different aspects very right. I would suggest that most innovation is the refinement and evolution of existing ideas in a way that cannot be patented.

Development also takes time and is no less important than innovation. However because its less glamerous, it can tend to be neglected. If the difference between development and innovation is unclear then I would suggest an example. If we test 12 different solders to find out which one sounds the best, this is development. But say we introduce a material that no one has used before, this is innovation, because its a new idea.

Innovations you can use

At Origin Live we pay inordinate attention to the details of each turntable component. The advances made here have been so significant that we offer them as upgrades for most decks in existence. Examples are:

The Award winning upgrade platter mat - A unique material to absorb record vibration better.

The upgrade belt - A special type of rubber with high grip and low stretch.

The upgrade belt - A special type of rubber with high grip and low stretch.

Platter glide turntable oil - Very low friction oil to reduce microscopic “juddering” of bearings

The DC Motor kit - dramatically reduces motor vibration.

Damping feet - Absorbs vibration and prevents reflections.

These work effectively on virtually all turntables, regardless of their brand and price. You can read the client and magazine reviews on our web site. However it’s worth noting that these products are all spin offs from years of design work carried out on our own turntables.

Many users have rightly guessed that we are obsessive about performance and this has been going on for a long time - arguably over 20 years more than many decks. Reviews from the press and clients only endorse this point. Its not just about time of course, and we talk more on this in  "design for performance" 

Example of a True Innovator

For those interested in innovation, a great illustration of creatively refining existing ideas is found in the conquest of Everest.

Nobody at the time really understood why the British had succeeded where so many had failed. Up untill the peak was finally reached, people could argue about who were the best climbers in the world and what was the best equipment. As we all know, it was the British expedition and Sir Edmund Hilary who were the first to accomplish this feat. What is not so generally realised is the number of failed expeditions which preceded them and why they were the first to manage it.

This is a fantastic story of how innovation that was despised, suddenly won the day because of it's success with a benchmark. The Swiss (probably the leading climbers in the world), the Germans and others had all attempted this climb which had become a matter of National prestige. Why were the British successful? Was it pure heroism as the leader of the expedition wanted the world to think?

The real story behind this remarkable success was not given any credit at the time but is now starting to receive the recognition it deserves. One of the members of the expedition, Dr Pugh, had observed that very near the summit,  climbers suffered from extreme exhaustion and dehydration. To combat this, Dr Pugh doubled the Oxygen supply using enlarged valves and designed a lightweight stove to melt snow. This ensured his climbers were so well hydrated, that Hilary is renowned for urinating at the top of Everest.

To quote an article on this subject -

“Today, the name of this pioneering physiologist is barely known. Yet without his tireless devotion and extraordinary eye for detail, the conquest of Mount Everest in May 1953 could never have taken place.

It was Dr Pugh – himself a  member of the expedition – who designed the oxygen and fluid-intake regimes, the acclimatisation programme, the diet, the high-altitude boots, the tents, the down clothing, the mountain stoves and even the airbeds.

However, he was regarded as an object of scepticism and suspicion, and even, in some quarters, scorn and derision”.

Once Everest was conquered the story changes:- “his theories on oxygen, diet, hydration and dealing with the cold – were read avidly by mountaineers around the world. Within three years of his  Everest expedition, the world’s six  highest mountains had all been conquered. Pugh’s scientific methods had become the template for high-altitude climbing everywhere.

This is a fascinating read and the full article (not long) can be found on the following link

Dr Pugh is an inspiration as he reveals so much of what innovation is really about - the countless unseen details.



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