Quotes by Edwin Herbert Land:
- An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.
- Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.
- Don't undertake a project unless it is manifestly important and nearly impossible.
- If you dream of something worth doing and then simply go to work on it and don't think anything of personalities, or emotional conflicts, or of money, or of family distractions; it is amazing how quickly you get through those 5,000 steps.
- Politeness is the poison of collaboration.
- Marketing is what you do when your product is no good.
- The most important thing about power is to make sure you don't have to use it.
- It's not that we need new ideas, but we need to stop having old ideas.
- Science is a method to keep yourself from kidding yourself.
- Any problem can be solved using the materials in the room.
- A premature attempt to explain something that thrills you will destroy your perceptivity rather than increase it, because your tendency will be to explain away rather than seek out. An invention that is quickly accepted will turn out to be a rather trivial alteration of something that has already existed.
- Anything worth doing is worth doing to excess.
- As I review the nature of the creative drive in the inventive scientists that have been around me, as well as in myself, I find the first event is an urge to make a significant intellectual contribution that can be tangible embodied in a product or process.
- Do not do anything that anyone else can do readily.
- Do not undertake the program unless the goal is manifestly important and its achievement nearly impossible.
- Every creative act is a sudden cessation of stupidity.
- Fifty years after we undertook to make the first synthetic polarizers we find them the essential layer in digital liquid-crystal. And thirty four years after we undertook to make the first instant camera and film, our kind of photography has become ubiquitous. I believe quite simply that the small company of the future will be as much a research organization as it is a manufacturing company. I have long aspired to make our company a noble prototype of industry, penetrating in science, reliable in engineering, creative in aesthetics and wholesomely prosperous in economics.
- If you dream of something worth doing and then simply go to work on it and don't think anything of personalities, or emotional conflicts, or of money, or of family distractions; if you think of, detail by detail, what you have to do next, it is a wonderful dream even though the end is a long way off, for there are about five thousand steps to be taken before we realize it; and [when you] start taking the first ten, and ... twenty after that, it is amazing how quickly you get through through the four thousand [nine hundred] and ninety. The last ten steps you never seem to work out. But you keep on coming nearer to giving the world something.
- Industry is best at the intersection of science and art.
- It is a curious property of research activity that after the problem has been solved the solution seems obvious. This is true not only for those who have not previously been acquainted with the problem, but also for those who have worked over it for years.
- The second great product of industry should be the rewarding life for every person.
- The test of an invention is the power of an inventor to push it through in the face of staunch—not opposition, but indifference—in society. This is the most exciting part of being human. It is using our brains in the highest way. Otherwise we are just healthy animals.
- We have to keep in practice like musicians. Besides, there are still potentialities to be realized in color film. To us, it's just like bringing up a child. You don't stop after you've had it.
[On product improvement research.]
We took on things which people might think would take a year or two. They weren't particularly hard. What was hard was believing they weren't hard.
Recalling high-pressure, short-deadline problem solving leading up to planned release date of Polaroid instant color film.