Innovative Thinking – Vasoline – Blog 048

Mistakes Are Opportunities




In 1859, Robert Cheesebrough a young chemist and pharmacist on the edge of bankruptcy, went to Titusville, PA to find success in the new oil boom.


While talking with the roughnecks he heard them complain about the pasty paraffin-like residue that clogged up the drilling rods.  They added that when rubbed on a cut, the cut healed faster.  This was an annoying and expensive waste product.


When he worked on purifying his petroleum jelly he used a vase he took from his wife.  He then added the popular medical word ending “ine” at it became “Vaseline”!

Like Dr. Joseph Lister’s, Lister-ine…

Also: 3-M’s Glue, Union Carbide’s Ethyl Glycol, Slinky, and Weyerhaeuser’s Wood Chips.


“Progress is 95 percent routine teamwork. The other five percent relies on restless, inner-directed people who are willing to upset our apple cart with new and better ideas.”

–Michael LeBoeuf


Lon Safko
Serial Innovator, Keynote Speaker, Trainer, Innovative Thinking


Tags: innovative thinking, creative, creative thinking, Innovation, critical thinking definition, innovation definition, critical thinking skills, creative process

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