Magic and Innovation

By Jim Euchner, VP of Global Innovation at Goodyear and Editor-in-Chief of Research-Technology Management (RTM)

“Any sufficiently new technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

—Arthur C. Clarke

Innovation is a magical thing. It transforms dross into gold, puts nature at our command, creates something new where there was once nothing. Throughout history, magicians (and charlatans) have used new technology to create illusions for delight and profit. An early use of the electromagnet, for example, was part of an act demonstrating the super-strength of a magician, who could lift an object that even a strongman could not budge. A dash of psychology, a dollop of sleight of hand, and a big dose of showmanship can turn even a simple technological effect into a powerful illusion.

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