Last Updated on 24 May 2013

In Tom Kelley’s new book The Ten Faces of Innovation, the second ‘face’ he discusses in the book is called the “Experimenter.” These are folks who “strive for inspiration but never shy away from perspiration.”

Walt Disney called this “sticktoitivity.”

Kelley provides a few interesting examples of ‘experimenters’ who didn’t let perspiration or defeat diminish their sticktoitivity.

We celebrate the Wright Brothers’ success at Kitty Hawk, but we often overlook the fact that they tested more than 200 wing shapes and risked their lives crashing seven different flying machines in pursuit of a practical airplane.


Few people stop to consider where the name for the ubiquitous spray lubricant WD-40 came from, but it refers to the thirty-nine failed experiment in coming up with the perfect water-displacement formula before the company finally achieved success.


And British entrepreneur James Dyson reports that he built 5,127 unsuccessful prototypes of his cyclone vacuum before he hit on the design that made him a billionaire.

Now that is sticktoitivity!