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Many Heads Are Better Than One

Learn from the Inventors

While the standard image of an inventor is someone working alone in his basement or garage, many inventors, especially today, work in teams.

At IDEO, a design firm, experts from a variety of fields come together to design new products, services, environments, and digital experiences. IDEO’s design philosophy is that teamwork boosts the firm’s efforts in innovation and creativity. Teams share and improve ideas, building on their members’ skills and providing more opportunities for problem solving. Being part of a team allows each member to engage in interdisciplinary, simultaneous innovation.

This section features inventors such as Linus Torvalds, inventor of the Linux computer operating system, and car designer Jerry Hirshberg, founder of Nissan Design International. The collaborative approaches of these inventors follow in the footsteps of Thomas Edison. Although often viewed as the quintessential lone genius inventor, Edison’s most important innovation may be his Menlo Park, New Jersey, lab, where he developed inventions with a team of scientists, machinists, carpenters, glassworkers, and others. His laboratory expanded the 19th century craft-shop model of invention, pointing toward the corporate research-and-development labs to come.

Innovative Product Design Team


“Fresh ideas come faster in a fun place.”

--IDEO founder David Kelley

Other Inventors in "Many Heads Are Better...":

Thomas Edison

Prolific Inventor and “Invention Factory” Founder

Jerry Hirshberg

Jerry Hirshberg 
Founder of Nissan Design International

Linus Torvalds

Linus Torvalds 
Linux Computer Operating System Founder

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