Could biomimicry be an entrepreneur’s secret path to innovation?



  1. The imitation of natural biological designs or processes in engineering or invention.
  2. A method for creating solutions to human challenges by emulating designs and ideas found in nature.

“Companies seeking breakthrough products tend to ignore the greatest invention machine in the universe: life’s more than three-billion-year history of evolution by natural selection.”

Examples: (excerpts courtesy of Digital Trends).


Kingfisher birds have specialized beaks allowing them to dive into water to hunt while making a minimal splash. Utilizing this new nose, the next generation 500 series trains were 10 percent faster, consumed 15 percent less electricity


Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, discovered that woodpeckers have four structures designed to absorb mechanical shock. The bird’s semi-elastic beak, an area of “spongy bone” material behind the skull, and cerebrospinal fluid all work in unison to extend the time over which this concussion occurs and therefore inhibiting vibration. Based on this multifaceted design, the team is working to create an array applications ranging from more shock-resistant flight recorders (black boxes) to micrometeorite-resistant spacecrafts.


Using an intricate network of intentionally air pockets, termite mounds create a natural ventilation system using convection.  The engineering firm Arup built an entire shopping center in Zimbabwe based on this natural convection system. Currently the system uses 10 percent less energy than a traditional air-conditioned facility.

Other examples of how biomimicry spurred innovation include Velcro (from the tiny hooks at the end of burrs), bird safe glass (from UV reflective strands in spider webs), and coatings for ship’s hulls, submarines, aircraft, and even swimwear for humans (from shark skin).

What are you building?  Next time you go for a hike or are in nature, look around.  A breakthrough or inspiration for your design or product may just be right next to you.

a path in the woods as inspiration

Is silence a sign of disinterest?

We’re all busy, but when the ball is in our court, it’s our turn to act.

If we’re waiting for the best time to do our best work, we may wait forever.

It’s better to do a good job now, than a great job late.

If we’re too busy to get to it, let the other person know.

  • Silence is a sign of disinterest: not good.
  • Communication is a sign of engagement: better.

Stop pucking around.  Get it done.  Then we don’t have to talk about this.


Three things that get in our way from doing great work

As we try to make a difference doing something worthy of our time and effort, we inevitably run into boulders in our path.  We can become frustrated, lose our momentum, get agitated, or unsettled.  It sucks.

Running into boulders is inevitable.

What helps us get through these periods?

  1. A simple acknowledgement that it is happening.
  2. An understanding of the source.

External obstacles (equipment malfunction, lost email, customer complaint) can be overcome with attention and action, but internal obsticals are often hard to define, and deal with.  Because it is hard to put our finger on the problem, sometimes we may want to go hide in the closet, or reach for booze or other medications, or need to “burn off” our angst in other ways.  This is very common!  (and inevitable!).

Why?  We’re lost inside.  We can’t find ourselves.   Shit is bothering us and we can’t get to the source.

There are three sources that keep us from doing great work.

Hidden Agenda.  This was supposed to be fun.  I thought I was doing this because… but now i’m not so sure.  What’s your hidden agenda?  Go for a walk and be true to yourself.  Stop at the water’s edge and look at the reflection in the water and try to get a handle on who you really are.  Take a deep breath and consider the virtues of transparency.  We don’t have to be like Ray Dalio’s radical transparency, but is your internal obstacle your own hidden agenda?

Glory.  We all walk the tightrope of undertaking projects because of an internal calling, or passion, or the simple desire to make a difference.  But on the other side is our own glory.  The spotlight: “wow, isn’t he great?”  Ego and vanity are great motivators.  But nobody likes ego and vanity.  Do you want this to succeed on its own, or are you imagining yourself on CNN?

Paralysis.  Business writers like Seth Godin have made a career out of helping people get through the Dip. The newer land grab term is Flow state , with Steven Kotler’s Stealing Fire leading the way.  What shits we are not being able to get our projects done!  Paralysis happens because we’re afraid to make a mistake, and look like an idiot.  Are you afraid to look like an idiot?

It’s ok to have any of these internal obstacles getting in our way.  Boulders are going to fall.  It happens.

A rock weighing about 1,500 tons landed on the westbound lanes of U.S. 52 in Lawrence County on Friday, April 10, 2015. (Photo credit: Ohio Department of Transportation – District 9)

Every entrepreneur needs to be able to absorb the body blows

The Innovative path is never straight.  There are twists and turns, obstacles, and seemingly insurmountable boulders and blockages.  Some days, we are filled with excitement from the adrenaline rush trying to create something remarkable.  Other days, we are filled with anxiety and self doubt from any number of things that will go wrong trying to create something remarkable.

When we feel like we’ve been punched in the stomach, we can try humming:

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom
“Let it be”

We are all sensitive.  We all have feelings.  We all have weak stomach muscles. We may retreat to the couch and wallow away for a few hours or a night, but something inside us wakes us the next morning, and we get up, and get right back at it.  We entrepreneurs are driven to create.

Entrepreneurs can’t let it be.


  • “That which blocks our path creates a new path.”  The obstacle is the Way, Ryan Holliday
  • “Embrace Constraints.  Constraints are advantages in disguise, as they allow us to think creatively”, Rework, Jason Fried & David Hansson
  • “Recognition is a huge step.  Some avoid what’s bothering them, or can’t even isolate it”  How to untangle the wires in your head, Glenn Auerbach
  • “Knowing that you’re facing a Dip is the first step in getting through it.”, The Dip, Seth Godin

We entrepreneurs need to be able to absorb the body blows.

Could someone make a second career earning some side cash representing Kong Pong to hotels, resorts, health clubs?

NEWS FLASH: Hilton Hotel, New York City is taking delivery of a Kong Pong unit

They became interested as the hotel owner, owns a Kong Pong.

Like most resorts they need activities for guests.

As u know Kong Pong is design to be outdoor 24/7 with lights

New feature and only on a Kong Pong adjustable legs for the Youngsters & Wheelchair

All table come with outdoor paddles & balls

Elevated Playing Lights &

Lighted nets are optional

My new women logo and African Safari font.

need better pics Scotty!

Who was the guy who first decided to use the backup Zamboni?

Between periods at a hockey game, some of us stay seated and end up watching the graceful, calming dual Zamboni dance.  Like magic, the white snowy ice turns into shiny clear ice behind.

But those of us old enough remember a day when ice refinishing was done with just one Zamboni.  Sure, every NHL rink had a back up Zamboni, in case the main one broke down, but nobody ever thought to use the back up Zamboni and get the job done at half the time.  Then one day in 1985, folks at the Met Center in Bloomington, Minnesota put in an order for an additional Zamboni.  “Ralph, quit leaning on that broom.  Get out there with #2 and help Carl with that ice.  We’ve got a game to play.”

Dual Zambonis between periods

It’s fitting that the idea came from a Minnesota rink manager or Zamboni driver.  Minnesotans, of course, understand ice.  Those of us who used to turn on the rink lights with a 6:50 am ice time understand that ice that has been allowed to “cure” or “set up” after resurfacing is really good, hard ice.  For NHL players, stepping onto freshly resurfaced ice that has set up just an extra couple minutes is that much better ice.  Whoever this guy was, he changed ice resurfacing forever.

Back on the bench, we can consider: who was the first player to squirt a little water out of the bottle before taking a swig?  Surely it must have been a germ conscious player.  And the player was probably not so much a hypochondriac,  but was probably a player fully understanding the havoc that a flu bug or the mumps can have on a team.  But no hockey players suck on the water bottle,. so, why the extra squirt?  Superstition?  Maybe.  But ridding any idea of germs in the water bottle becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.  We all know that getting sick can be very very much mind over matter.  One ounce of water sacrificed for piece of mind is a good investment.  Who was that first hockey player?  Whoever he was,  he changed swigging out of a water bottle forever.

A little squirt before taking a drink of water

Back on the ice, ever wonder who was the first defenseman to flip the puck up high, up and out of the zone?  It used to be that a hard shot around the boards, about the height of an opposing players private parts, could do the job.  But players are too good.  Cups are too strong.  And if the puck gets by the defenseman holding the point, well, the puck goes all the way down to the other end.  An icing call, back in the zone.  Somewhere along the line, and it was recently, defenseman found an effective way to get the puck safely out of the zone, out of reach from snarling opposing defenseman, and turning defense into offense.  Just like (insert favorite quarterback name here), defenseman are now like skilled quarterbacks, lobbing a forward pass to drop right down for a rushing teammate, creating havoc for the opposing defenseman.  Who was the first hockey player to develop this skill?  Whoever he was, he changed the game forever.

flipping puck out of the zone

Where in your day can you see a way to change the game forever?

Putting our projects in position for the adjacent possible

If anyone asks “why are you wasting your time on that?” You can attempt to quiet their negativity with the answer:

“Because I am putting myself in the position for the adjacent possible.”

What does the adjacent possible mean ?  It means a lot.  And basically it means that good ideas come from advancing the ball.  Doing.  Prototyping.  Testing.  When we do (instead of just talk or plan) we put our projects in a place for improvement and launch.

In the tech world, they are big on MVP – Minimal Variable Product.  “a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers, and to provide feedback for future product development.”

This is what we do at Rolling Thunder.  We put projects in motion.  When we are in motion we are able to take advantage of the adjacent possible.


Steven Johnson’s book detailing the adjacent possible

A great review of Steven Johnson’s book can be found here.

Help wanted: Process Manager to help people turn their idea into a finished product

Rolling Thunder Review is looking for an experienced professional who is good at helping college aged interns stay on task and meet deadlines.

Chance to give life long lessens learned in a no pressure environment.  Ideal candidate will have no boss and no TPS reports.  Process Manager will be given total freedom to scratch the entrepreneurial itch without having to invent something or sell it, while providing the rush that comes with helping others turn their idea (or yours?) into a selling product.

Most communication will be by telephone or other method most productive for Process Manager.  No cube or conference room work, unless desired.  Can manage remotely.

Senior mentor can advise entrepreneurs from wherever it best suits them.

This is fun.  Kids can be fun. 

Two college entrepreneurs appreciating advice and direction from a mentor who has shipped.

Here’s a chance to give back and help young kids realize their own contribution to the entrepreneurial spirit.

Pay is $0.00 per hour, yet with equity earning (or giving) potential with Shark Tank negotiating skills intact.