Get In A Lot More Tries

Innovation is messy and hard. It’s not for everyone. Mistakes will be made, and you will have to try more stuff to find a way forward. A couple of years ago I was part of a team that developed a static ground effect vehicle.

When I say vehicle I don’t mean a car, though the technology can be used for that purpose. Basically a vehicle that can lift itself from the ground using ground effect without pushing air towards the ground.

Compared to software, building hardware prototypes is expensive. We developed many prototypes, from small to mid-size, with various materials and hardware to find a way to prove the concept. We also developed computer models that helped us simulate how a particular prototype would work and if it could achieve it’s outcome.

We burned many motors and other parts to test our theory. And eventually got one of our vehicles to lift 2 gallons of water. This prototype gave us some answers and became our proof of concept.

Below is our first prototype, lifting two 500 ml bottles of water:

Below is our second prototype lifting 40 kg:

We raised some money, not enough, to keep experimenting and testing. We got rejected a bunch of times by some well known companies who thought we were crazy. Still, we persisted and figured out a way to prove the concept.

To get there, we had to get in a lot more tries; test and learn. There is no other way around it: there is no innovation without experimentation.