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Creative Genius at 94: Here’s How!

By Shlomo Maital

John Goodenough and his team at University of Texas (Austin) “have just set the tech industry abuzz with his blazing creativity”, writes Pagan Kennedy, in the New York Times.   “He and his team filed a patent application on a new kind of battery that, if it works, as promised, would be so cheap, lightweight and safe that it would revolutionize electric cars and kill off petroleum-fueled vehicles.”

   This is not Goodenough’s first invention. At age 57 he co-invented the lithium-ion battery that shrank power into a tiny package; such batteries now exist in nearly all devices at home and at work.

     OK – another genius. Nice. But what is unusual about Goodenough???

     His age.

       He is 94 years old.

       I often speak to groups of senior citizens, and tell them to restart their creative brains… reject the idea that you have no ideas under gray hair. It’s false!!   I know a Technion colleague who invented an amazing cure for cancer after age 70.  

       Here is what Goodenough says:   He started in physics, meandered through different fields, picking up clues as he went along. He hopped sideways into chemistry and materials science, keeping his eyes on social nad political trends. “You have to draw on a fair amount of experience in order to be able to put ideas together”, he notes.

     PUT IDEAS TOGETHER!   That is creativity. And who can do it better than 94 year olds, who have seen and learned so much about life?

       Thanks John! I’m 74. So maybe in two decades I will still have ideas….that create value.

       Remember the name: Goodenough. What is,   was not good enough for Goodenough. Even at 94.

 

Blog entries written by Prof. Shlomo Maital

Shlomo Maital
April 2017
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