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Posted by Sarah Brown on 15 Apr '16

Innovation – 15 Examples of bad ideas or mistakes

{img_title} Just because you get an unexpected result there is no need to dismiss an idea, just look what might have been lost:

1 Madame Curie’s bad idea resulted in radium

2 Blaise Pascal was experimenting with perpetual motion and invented roulette

3 Crisps happened because a chef got angry with a customer who wanted his potatoes fried more and in a tantrum he sliced them thin, deep fried them expecting the customer to be annoyed - but no.. And the rest is history

4 Adhesive tape resulted from a bad idea by Richard Drew

5 Joseph Priestley was investigating the chemistry of the air and by chance invented carbonated water

6 Goodyear invented vulcanised rubber by accident

7 Fleming noticed that a contaminated Petri dish he had discarded contained a mould that was dissolving all the bacteria around it. When he grew the mould by itself, he learned that it contained a powerful antibiotic, penicillin.

8 Chocolate chip cookies happened when Ruth Wakefield discovered she was out of cooking chocolate and broke up sweetened chocolate into small pieces and added them to the dough expecting them to melt

9 X rays were a mistake by Roentgen

10 Canon invented inkjet printing when by mistake a hot iron was put on a pen and the ink squirted out

11 Lippershey by accident created the telescope

12 Percy Spencer,  was conducting a radar-related research with a new vacuum tube when a chocolate bar in his pocket melted, he then tried popcorn and found by mistake he’d invented a microwave

13 Walker didn’t mean to invent friction matches

14 Over 2000 years ago a chinese cook accidentally mixed together charcoal, sulfur, and saltpeter they exploded and by mistake the first firework display happened

15 And of course, Columbus didn’t mean to find America

Learn about innovation here and see our infographic