Brad Feld

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Flash of Genius

Oct 18, 2008

Tomorrow is Marathon #13 – the Mount Desert Island Marathon in Bar Harbor, Maine.  As part of my pre-marathon tradition, Amy and I relax at a movie the day before.  Today’s was Flash of Genius at the awesome Reel Pizza Cinerama.

Flash of Genius is the story of Robert Kearns, the inventor of the intermittent windshield wiper.  It’s a tragedy in three acts. 

  • Act 1: Invention and hopefulness that ends in betrayal.
  • Act 2: The hero encounters increasing difficulties, complications, and losses.
  • Act 3: Triumph and redemption.

While I’m deeply anti-software-patent, I’m equally pro-inventor.  The Kearns story – at least what I know of it from the great 1993 New Yorker article titled The Flash of Geniusis a complicated and provocative one.  Greg Kinnear is brilliant as Robert Kearns and plays the dedicated and single-minded investor magnificently.

If you are ever in Bar Harbor and like watching movies, definitely have dinner (and a movie) at Reel Pizza Cinerama.  The Manchurian Candidate pizza was a winner.  Now, time to get my head into the marathon.