Dr. Yoshiro Nakamatsu [above] holds the world record for inventions – over 3,000 in total – including the floppy disk, the karaoke machine, the taxi meter, the CD, the DVD and the digital watch.
He claims that many of his best ideas come underwater, at the moment half a second before death due to oxygen deprivation, and between midnight and 4am – what he calls ‘the golden time’ – after which he gets four hours sleep – he says any more than 6 hours sleep a night leads to decreased brainpower.
“Underwater there is no oxygen, therefore, just before death, 0.5 seconds before death, I can suddenly create new invention, because of lack of oxygen – brain condition is completely different from normal condition… Brain becomes completely different power and creates completely different new idea. Under the water suddenly comes from another world, different idea comes”
[I’m quoting verbatim, so as not to misquote]
In order to write down his ideas in the moment just after he has had them, he has also invented a notepad which can be used underwater.
He also doesn’t seem too hot on brainstorming for the purposes of invention:
“Completely alone is very important – you know this so-called exchanging ideas several people discussing this, mean nothing to create new invention. Invention submit to only one person… every discussion is waste of time”
As for his motives for inventing:
“I’m not doing invention for make money, my special invention is love. By my invention, every people in the world will become happy – that is my love to them”
As heard on ‘Jon Ronson on Being Alone‘, radio program on BBC Radio 4.