How to Invent Everything
By Samantha Harr | 5 Minute Read
Eisner and Harvey Award winning author Ryan North has brought a combination of humor and genius into the world in his latest book How to Invent Everything. The premise being that you rented a time machine which promptly malfunctioned. The book includes guides to discovering what time period you’ve landed in and how you can build human society similar to, or better than, how we know it today.
Think you can reinvent the modern world from scratch?
(However, if you’ve landed too early to do that, at least there may be some cool dinosaurs or plants around.)
How to Invent Everything is witty, charming, and ambitious. The topics range from absolute basics such as inventing language all the way through more complex topics like the creation of computers. If you find you’ve landed before humans have discovered modern medicine, you can explain to them what germs are. (1300s Europe will be especially thankful indeed.) Don’t worry about food because you’ll learn about basic nutrition and how to get started farming. Want to make a kiln? HTIE will have you ready in no time.
Why Would an Industrial Design Firm Recommend a Book About Things That Have Already Been Invented?
Two reasons. First, knowing where we’ve come from is a good way to visualize where we can go from here. Knowing our roots, so to speak. Studying the historical foundations of invention in a way that’s more fun than the average textbook is a reminder that what we do is cool. Really cool.
The second thing to point out is that by reading about fantastic inventions in a way that isn’t stringently academic is an inspiring reminder that world changing ingenuity can happen to anyone passionate enough. All you have to do is work hard and be persistent in your pursuit of solution-finding.
Innovation Never Stops
An addition to the first reason for reading a book about inventions that already exist is to consider that no invention is ever it’s final form. Does farm equipment look the same today as when it first came to be? Has medicine evolved? How about computers? Just about everything ever invented has found a better version of itself from the human nature of never wanting to settle for “good enough.”
Look to your own career industry. Rather than assuming there’s nothing left to improve because everything seems figured out already, we guarantee you can discover a problem in need of a solution, or perhaps a facet of daily life that isn’t as optimal as it could be. That realization will put you well on your way to being the next great inventor. Time for an ideation session!
Loads of illustrations accompany the guides, making the processes even clearer for a novice inventor and time traveler. The end of the book contains expansive appendices of helpful charts and quick-reference guides. Chemistry, Anatomy, Logical argument forms, Trigonometry (especially exciting!) and more. Check out this sample to the right of some cool gears and mechanisms you’ll get to study up on.
No matter where you are along the path of becoming an inventor, this book comes highly recommended from the Trig team. Enjoy and then tell us what you learned in the comments or on social media.
Also check out the official How to Invent Everything website.
It contains information about the book tour, a link to buy the How to Invent Everything bandana (you know, in case your copy of the book gets lost in time/space,) and an Errata page so you will always have the most correct and up to date information.