Ideas Explained in Fewer Than 280 Characters (Part 4 of 5)
Ideas Innovation

Ideas Explained in Fewer Than 280 Characters (Part 4 of 5)

Sahil Thakkar

Ideas can be tough to wrap your head around. You might look at some of the amazing inventions and fantastic discoveries that have been made throughout history and get the feeling “Well, I couldn’t have possibly thought of that!”. But the truth is, you could have. See, the ideas didn’t start as the fully-developed, fleshed out, all-encompassing manifestations you see today. They started out as mere seeds. Sergey Brin and Larry Page didn’t immediately dream up a complicated algorithm so sort and index the entire internet…they just wanted to find things online easier! Dara Khosrowshahi didn’t envision a gigantic netowrk of cars linked through an app and a massive interconnected system…he just wanted to get a ride when he wanted to ride!

So, to remind you of this, we’ve taken what seem to be some of the most complex and intimidating ideas in existence and distilled them back down to their original forms. Don’t worry, it’s not going to be a large essay for each idea – in fact we’ve shortened them down to less than the length of a tweet --  280 characters -- if you can believe it!

  1. Airplane

The engine of a plane burns fuel to produce massive amounts of thrust that propel it forward at incredible speeds. This creates a massive amount of air flowing over the wings, which push that air down toward the ground. This creates a force called lift which ultimately lifts the plane up high into the sky.

We all learned the story of the Wright Brothers, the pioneers of the airplane, in school. But did you know that their first flight lasted a mere 12 seconds? They made four flights on that day, but the impact of those flights was felt forevermore because they launched humanity into a new realm – the skies -- proving that nothing is unconquerable.

2.  Spectacles


The way our eyes work is that they take in light on a certain spot on the retina which lets us see clearly and sharply. When their shape gets changed, we can’t see in focus anymore. Glasses correct this by using curved lenes to focus the light back on the right place in the retina.

Eyesight is of course one of our most important and primary senses. Near or far-sightedness has always been a problem and different periods had different ways to fix it .Ancient Romans had the ability to make glass and used it to create their own types of eyeglasses.

Italian inventors quickly discovered that rock crystal could be formed to be concave or convex to provide different types of visual aids for people with different types of visual impairments.

3. Touchscreen


There is a capacitve layer just below the screen that has an electrical current running through it. When we touch it, it disrupts the electrical charge at that place and the screen registers the touch over there.

The first touch screen is a capacitive touch screen invented by E.A. Johnson at the Royal Radar Establishment. It was originally created for air traffic control. It had some debuts in products such as early tablets, but it really blew up when it was used in the very first iPhone. As Steve Jobs said at the time, why do we need styluses when we already have ten of them on our very hands!

4. Engine


Fuel combines with air to combust. This creates energy. This energy is then converted into work by the expansion of the combustion gases which pushes the piston that is connected to a fixed cylinder which then sends energy that moves  the vehicle.

In 1885, Gottlieb Daimler of Germany created the first prototype of the modern gasoline engine. And his legacy has endured strongly to this day. Want to guess how? Well, If the name Daimler doesn’t sound familiar to you, maybe Daimler AG would ring a bell. If it doesn’t, then you might know it better by its other name…Mercedes Benz.

5. Air Conditioner


The warm air in the room is absorbed and drawn in through a vent which blows it over a cold evaporator coil. The temperature of the refrigerant is raised by the compressor and this excess heat gets transferred outside and the refrigerant gets cold, sending out cool air, and the process repeats all over again.

In 1902, Willis Carrier was standing on a foggy train platform. He gazed at the mist and it suddenly hit him that he could dry air by passing water through it and creating fog. This would make it possible to create air with specific, defined amounts of moisture in it. This was the critical foundation for the AC, and it came soon after. And now, we can beat the heat with ease!


We hope you enjoyed this foray into the genesis of some of the most well-known ideas that ultimately changed our world. Being overwhelmed by the amount of thought and effort it seemingly takes to bring an idea to fruition can be one of the biggest barriers that stops people from venturing forth and working on new ideas. The aim of this article is to serve to break down this notion and allow for free, boundless thought and ideation. This is the fourth article in a new five-part series we have created to help people move forward with their ideas at full speed and never look back. Stay tuned for the final part!