Every day, we learn something new; and every day we have the chance to make a difference, inspire other people, assess ourselves and solve our problems in the most creative ways.
Today, let me share to you a very inspiring story about Louis Plante.
Screenshot Photo of User Innovation: Entrepreneurship class video
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Last night, I attended my User Innovation: Entrepreneurship class. It was about “Frame Your Problem.” The topic featured Louis Plante. He is an Electrical Engineer and a Musician who has Cystic Fibrosis – a disease that causes thick mucus to build in the lungs and damage the respiratory system.
The only cure for Cystic Fibrosis is through clapping or tapping the chest to create vibrations to the lungs. This type of treatment is kind of painful.
Because Louis Plante wants help to cure his illness, he thought of all possible ways on how he can actually help himself; and he was able to come up with an idea of the Frequencer.
The Frequencer generates sound waves that can travel through the chest and gently vibrates the lungs. This is a very successful invention (or innovation) that he started to share with people who are also suffering with this kind of illness.
Its effect finally helped Louis Plante as the frequency navigate through his chest and caused him to cough. In this way, it created vibrations that loosen up thick mucus developed in his lungs.
According to Eric Von Hippel, our professor: “people frame problems in different ways.” With this, he also suggests that rather than sitting around and thinking about it hard, start messing around and when you get a combination that works, that’s the one that becomes successful.
Same goes with Louis Plante. He has skills to do such invention that helped him with his problem. Moreover, his ideas and eagerness to solve has been rewarding and indeed inspiring.
Surprisingly, the next frame answered questions I have in mind; and it wasn’t just that… it moved me.
Q: What if you didn’t have those skills?
Louis Plante: The world would still be the same, and the problem would still be there. And for me, as the person that I am, I would have to find the solution to that problem.
From whatever point of view you are, your problem is still there. But if you look at it in a certain angle, it’s going to give you another solution. And not to be discouraged by, “oh, maybe the angle is not good.” NO. Go ahead and try it because you never know what, that ‘try’ might solve the whole thing.
Currently, Louis Plante is waiting for his lung transplant. I hope (and I know) that his operation will go well as planned so he could inspire more people with his story, to innovate and to live life to its fullest.
Final words from last night’s class, courtesy of Eric Von Hippel:
“Both the problem’s shape and the skill set will morph as you proceed. So don’t overthink it, just get started.”
After this, we might not be afraid to try new things to the extent that we can even solve those that we are not totally sure of. Let’s just get started.