Success is a slippery, fickle thing. How much is down to luck, being in the right place at the right time or knowing the right people, and how much to innate talent? Why are some people less successful than others? Taking as its frame of reference the stories of fifty inventors who lost out on the fame that their genius might otherwise have merited, The Fickle Finger examines some of the reasons why they have languished in obscurity for so long. It is a tale of prejudice, racial and sexual, societal pressures, deficiencies in the patent system, gross errors of judgment, and sheer bad luck. The pressures of battling the system sometimes led to madness, penury and even suicide.
And along the way, there will be some surprises. Were the Wright Brothers really the first men to fly in a powered machine? Did Galileo really invent the telescope? Has a US President held a patent? How did Albert Einstein hope to improve upon the fridge? Why was Benjamin T Franklin denied a patent? Who gave away their invention for a lifetime’s supply of chocolate?
The answers to these questions and much more are to be found within this book. A lively, entertaining and light-hearted investigation into the components of success, it will give you plenty of food for thought.
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A Classics graduate from Trinity College, Cambridge Martin Fone had a successful career in the insurance industry. He co-authored two books on public sector risk management which were adopted by the Institute of Risk Management as their standard text books.
Since retiring Martin has had the opportunity to develop his interests, mainly reading, writing and thinking or, as his wife puts it, locking himself away in his office for a few hours a day. In particular he has been blogging and writing in his tongue-in-cheek, irreverent style about the quirks, idiocies and idiosyncrasies of life, both modern and ancient. His latest books, Fifty Clever Bastards, Fifty Curious Questions, and Fifty Scams and Hoaxes reflect this change in direction.
In May 2018 Fifty Curious Questions was a Category Finalist in the Eric Hoffer Book Award 2018 and has been serialised in Country Life magazine’s social media platform. Fifty Scams and Hoaxes was a category finalist in the Independent Author Network Book of the Year award, 2019.
Martin is now a regular contributor to Country Life Online and is working on his fourth book, entitled The Fickle Finger, which is scheduled to be published in February 2020.