Life Lessons from Movies


In Documentary, Movies on December 7, 2015 at 6:40 PM

SlingShot (2014) is a documentary directed by Paul Lazarus about the life and work of Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway Personal Transporter, the founder of FIRST engineering competitions, the developer of Slingshot, a portable water purification system, and the founder of DEKA, a research and development corporation.

Life Lesson:

“Bureaucracy is the art of making the possible impossible.”

– Javier Pascual Salcedo

Movie Scene:

Dean Kamen: “I made a machine that I thought would help people with healthcare. That’s my day job. So I went to my medical company clients. They can help. [But] They pretty much said, ‘We can’t help you. We’d love to support it. We’ll help you with money. But, Dean, we can’t get this stuff to these places, either. We’ll see what we can do.’ I went to governments. Maybe that’s what they’re for. When capitalism doesn’t work, aid organizations, NGOs. Well, they like to deal with big-scale stuff. They also might help with funding, they told me, but these big organizations don’t have people that go out to these little villages. They don’t have an efficient distribution channel. I went to the United Nations, said ‘I’ve got this box. Let’s figure out how to help get it out there.’ Their basic answer was, ‘good for you, we’re rooting for you. But we don’t do that. We don’t distribute products. We don’t build sustainable micro-economic systems. We don’t lend people money, we don’t make entrepreneurs. That’s not what we do.’ I was somewhat disappointed.  […] I’ve been given the opportunity to talk to the entire board of directors of the Coca-Cola Company about using our vapor compression distiller to solve the major global health problem: bad water. […] The Coca-Cola Company has bottling operations in 206 countries, which is more than the number of countries that are admitted into the United Nations.”


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