Otto Titzlinger did not invent the bra

Life is filled with little stories meant to shock, amuse or teach us all a life lesson. Stories that defy probability fall under the category of “urban legend.” For example, it’s often touted that the Great Wall of China is the only man-made structure that can be viewed from outer space, when in fact it is virtually invisible from even a low earth orbit.

Quite frequently such legends are blindly accepted as truth by the general population, sometimes even quoted as historical fact in school textbooks. You really can’t believe everything you hear or read.

Take a look at the following list of nine product development urban legends and see if you can determine which of these are true and which are made-up-out-of-control-playing-the- telephone-game myths (be careful when scrolling, answers appear below):


  1. The most famous successful early experiment of subliminal advertising happened when a movie theatre inserted phrases such as “Hungry? Eat popcorn” into a film which dramatically increased concession sales.
  2. The flush toilet was invented by Thomas Crapper.
  3. The mother of Mike Nesmith, former member of 60’s TV Rock Band “The Monkees” invented Liquid Paper.
  4. The introduction and subsequent failure of New Coke was actually a clever marketing ploy to refresh the brand’s original product.
  5. The Chevrolet Nova sold poorly in Mexico because its name translates as “doesn’t go” in Spanish.
  6. Prankish Intel engineers etched the phrase “Bill sux” onto a new version of the Pentium chip as a stab at Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates.
  7. The Atari videogame company buried millions of unsold copies of the game, “E.T. The Extraterrestrial,” in a New Mexico desert landfill in the 1980s.
  8. Nike offered a personalization service for sneakers but rejected a customer who requested his shoes be embroidered with the word ‘sweatshop.’
  9. Mars, Inc., turned down the opportunity to have M&Ms be the candy featured in the film E.T., opening the door for new competitor, Hershey’s Reese’s Pieces.

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A history of TV Tech innovation…

How will future anthropologists study our era?  When contemporary historians research past civilizations, they search for artifacts and from there use other data to extrapolate the daily life routines of ancient humans.

Because we now live in a highly recorded society, they won’t have to work as hard a few hundred or thousand years from now.

One thing that is certain to provide a lot of insight is the Television, the boob tube, the idiot box or whatever your favorite nickname is for the world’s most popular entertainment device.  They will find out  A LOT about us, some good and a whole lot of things we’d be embarrassed about if we were still alive.

Here is an infographic that follows the technological innovation history of the TV, from the Cathode Ray Tube to today’s flat screen OLED sets and the yet to gain traction 3D screens.

The most interesting part of this graphic is the bottom where it predicts that by 2015 the average screen size will be pushing 60-inches.  I can only imagine how many more years until one or more entire walls of your house will be the average screen size.  Or maybe it’ll go the other way and we’ll just wear glasses or other hardware that fill all available visual space with Jersey Shore 2025.

Infographic source:

Video: Extreme Yo Yo

Sure, this doesn’t have a lot to do with innovation or product development, but in blog world, sometimes you just have to post stuff that is cool.   Before watching these various Yo Yo masters ply their gifts in a recent competition event, I had NO IDEA that these types of tricks were even possible.

The thing that puzzles me most is wondering how often these guys hit themselves in the head while learning these routines.  Some do believe that Yo Yo’s were originally created as weapons, so they can be dangerous.

I’m not really sure if the following warning is necessary, but these are trained, experienced Yo Yo masters, don’t try this at home.

Link: Gizmodo post: Six Yo-Yo Masters Performing Mind-Bending String Feats