Invention of the Transistor – the Benefits of “Creative Failure Methodology”

William Shockley described the process of inventing the transistor at Bell Labs as “creative failure methodology”. A multi-discipline Bell Labs team was formed to invent the MOS transistor and ended up instead with the junction transistor and the new science of semiconductor physics. These developments eventually led to the MOS transistor and then to the integrated circuit and to new breakthroughs in electronics and computers.

Richard Feynman, also a Nobel Laureate physicist, believed in getting his hands dirty and doing lots of experiments, saying “To develop working ideas efficiently, I try to fail as fast as I can”.