As a young boy, Sterling Roberts was very curious. Like many kids, he would pull apart his things to see how they worked. Since he would get in trouble for pulling apart working things to see what was going on, his parents let him at the broken stuff to mess with and fix. Sterling’s innate curiosity also drove him to spend an inordinate amount of time with LEGO, but he built what he wanted instead of purpose-built toys. To this day, Sterling challenges himself to fix and tinker until he has built what he wants, and improve on the original.
“This could be done better, how can I do it better?” – Sterling Roberts
This type of thinking led him to create the company Sterling Innovations, an invention company that aims to improve the lives of their clients through his inventions.
“I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”- Bill Gates
Sterling finds inspiration in the above quote from Bill Gates and interprets it from the perspective of an inventor. “If you want something done, give it to a lazy engineer because they will develop it right the first time, because they don’t want to do it again.”
When most people might get stuck or throw out a product, Sterling’s inventor mindset goes into action. He begins the process of improving a product by pulling it apart and questioning how it can be improved. He will determine whether it can be done mechanically, electronically, or with software. Then he will look at other similar processes to see how they are done already. “There are plenty of other things that are made to do specific tasks,” Sterling says, “but they can be easily re-purposed or shifted to do something else.” For example, Sterling explains, “one machine’s function might be to turn a knob on one type of product, whereas that same function could be used to drive a remote-controlled vehicle.”
By taking a look at similar products or features and determining how they can be re-purposed, Sterling is able to make improvements to current products to achieve better results more efficiently.
Besides focusing on new product innovations, Sterling’s plans include creation of a design house where he and other inventors and engineers can put their minds and ideas together to create new products. Together, they would work on harnessing the potential of Sterling’s own product ideas as well as developing projects of their own. Sterling describes it as a type of maker-space for inventors where they would have the tools and resources to tinker and solve problems.
Stay tuned for more…