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Innovation Tales to Motivate and Inspire You

31 Dec 2015 by Teresa Meek

Jan. 2 is Motivation and Inspiration Day — kindly set for the second day of the new year, after your hangover has lifted. It’s a great time to get energized by amazing accomplishments, innovative ideas and lessons from others.

Ah, nature

Scientists and engineers have gotten fresh ideas from nature for centuries, and they’re still at it.

A scientist in London has spent six years designing a computer-operated surgical needle delicate enough for brain surgery. The inspiration for it? A wasp.

NASA is studying gecko feet to learn how to keep astronauts grounded in space.

And Sharklet Technologies, inspired by algae- and barnacle-resistant sharkskin, has developed a non-toxic surface to control the growth of bacteria.

Studies also show that to be fulfilled and productive at work, you need a nature break. 

Inspiring women techies

Inspiration isn’t all about developing and selling products — it’s about finding ways to change the world.

That’s what software start-up TUNE is trying to do in Seattle, where it is offering a rent-free home near the University of Washington to young women interested in computer science and technology. The goal is both to provide housing, and foster a sense of community and confidence for women in a male-dominated field.

Lessons from Steve Jobs

While there are countless inspirational quotes and life lessons from Steve Jobs, he continually searched for new ways to get motivated and encourage his team, as a section in his sister's eulogy revealed:

"In the last year of his life, he studied a book of paintings by Mark Rothko, an artist he hadn't known about before, thinking of what could inspire people on the walls of a future Apple campus." — Mona Simpson, A Sister's Eulogy for Steve Jobs

Inspiration can come in other forms besides art, including TED talks, music, poetry and recommendations from respected sources

We hope reading this sparked an idea or inspired you to make the first step toward a goal. Here’s to a happy new year.