Reflections and inventions

Invention is in my life what drawing is to the painter, the orchestra to the musician and the verses to the poet ...

But never forget that having an idea is not inventing.

This innovative and stealthy impression must

become concrete and functional..

Reflections et inventions

These personal reflections, which I want to share with you, are the result of my 50 years of a passionate life of inventions, which was fortunate to be born in a period of technological change.

Every year after 1998, the High Engineering School « Ecole des Mines » had the habit of bringing together about fifty creativity specialists around its students. We found big industry institutions such as Renault, SNCF, Carrefour, Decathlon and other Legrand companies, but also managers of small SMEs with new ideas in their heads. Among them was an exception, a «solitary inventor» also called «free electron». This role was curiously attributed to me from the creation of these exciting seminars. It was only my age that made me leave.

This very interesting experience allowed me to discover that there were two creative worlds, that of thinkers/researchers and that of artists/inventors. The former follow strict, almost mathematical, reasoning of creativity management (MRT …) while the others take paths free from any constraint. These worlds often lead to innovation for the former and invention for the latter.

I also slowly came to think, at the risk of shock, that if creativity can be guided, the invention remains intuitive and solitary and that inventing has no rules. The invention seems to me today simply as a gift offered by nature as there is the gift of painting, music or sport.

Today I am certain that I am part of the “intuitive” for whom the invention comes “to mind, like that, for no reason”.

But be careful to have a new idea, to imagine something different is not to invent. It is the trap set for the intuitive. This “fresh and spontaneous idea” is only the first step. The invention is the result of a process that can be very long and complex, often carried out in a team and that the inventor is best placed to guide. It must lead to an achievable product or a new useful function for all. This is what makes patents so important, because they come from a strict control of competent examiners (as was Einstein!). The proof:

It was not until November 1985, when i sealed in mouth and in public the first real crown made by CFAO, adapted to its environment and respecting the occlusion as any prothesis must, that i considered myself the inventor of this technology that i had imagined and described 15 years earlier in my thesis.

If in my eyes no invention can exist without an inventor. The invention thieves, who are very many, know this: they are very quickly short of ideas and do not feel the evolution of new concepts. This is happy, because they are only forgers who finally try to sign a table made by another.