Thursday, April 28, 2011

Will The Next Bill Rasmussen Please Stand Up

Innovation, the key to sustainable economic health, has been missing in action in Connecticut for the past 30 years. The state's traditional companies such as SNET, Pratt & Whitney, Sikorksy, Hamilton Standard, Aetna, Travelers, Stanley Works, and Perkin Elmer are in the maturity phase of their life cycle and no longer lead Connecticut's innovation.

It's been over 30 years since Connecticut has had a major business innovation. People asked Bill Rasmussen why he started ESPN in Connecticut in 1978.  "It's simple", he said.  "I live here".  Here's a Hartford Business Journal article about Bill.

Connecticut's innovative past included some pretty cool "firsts".
  • Artificial heart
  • Anesthesia
  • Helicopter
  • Nuclear submarine
  • Retractable tape measure
  • Vulcanized rubber
  • Magnetic core computer memory
  • Semiconductor injection laser
  • Polaroid photography
  • Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus
  • Football rules - Walter Camp
  • Paper clip mass production
  • Dictionary
  • Can opener
  • Steamboat
  • Newspaper
  • Cotton gin
  • America's factory town
  • Movable parts mass production
  • Insurance company
  • Public art museum
  • Portable typewriter
  • Sewing machine
  • Ice-making machine
  • Pay phone
  • Telephone exchange
  • Collapsible toothpaste tube
  • Hamburger
  • Lollipop
  • Frisbee
  • Wiffle Ball
  • Silly Putty
  • PEZ Candy
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • UHF TV station and FM radio station
  • Color television
  • Colt Revolver

Who will be the catalyst to rekindle a long history of innovation?
Will the next Bill Rasmussen please stand up.

[Read this article and this one to see the details.]

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