Friday I attended Creative Mornings Miami to hear Dr. Bill Murphy speak. Dr. Murphy invented a snow blower in the 1930s while in high school and after medical school at Harvard and training at MIT went on to invent or collaborate on dialysis machines, pacemakers and medical stents. He was the founder of Cordis Corporation, which was acquired by J&J.
The single insight that enabled Murphy to become such a successful medical device inventor and entrepreneur was his realization that "the human body was really just a piece of engineering".
So many times the biggest companies are based on just one special insight. Dr. Murphy told the story of how the first dialysis machines used sausage casings as the critical membrane. Another one of those single insights that launched a company and an industry.
Dr. Murphy also made an interesting point about medical education. When you are in med school one is learning to cure disease but when you work in a hospital you are learning to help people. The story about focusing on people and not disease, combined with the human body as engineering perhaps explain the success of Dr. Murphy.
The other thing that was interesting was to see just how intelligent people can be. Listening to Dr. Murphy was a glimpse of genius. Not many in Miami...or anywhere else.
More on Dr. Murphy is in this story on the same event in Starting Gate