Member’s Lunch Meeting – Wednesday 7th August 2019.

Mad Cap Ideas and Quirky Inventions by Douglas Eaton.

Doug’s talk was about the things we didn’t know we needed; things we could probably do without! The thin line between crazy and genius.

Doug’s first twenty-one years were spent in Liverpool, with music playing a key part in his life – performing at The Cavern Club with The Detonators rock group alongside The Beatles, working at Brian Epstein’s NEMS record shop, and booking the groups for gigs at Liverpool University.

He spent over thirty years in the corporate business world, with conglomerates such as Unilever, Reed International and Barratt Homes – and smaller companies that few people have ever heard of! After receiving the ‘Queen’s Award for Enterprise’ from Her Majesty, he sold his shares in Colour Workshop, the company he helped to grow from £2m to £25m in five years.

At this time, he ‘re-invented’ himself, and in the last twelve years – as well as establishing himself as an entertaining speaker with Social Groups and as a Guest Lecturer on cruise ships – he has been a mentor, a business advisor in the developing world, a mystery shopper, created a house-building business and become a publisher. He still plays music – with his rock group, The Elderly Brothers, and organizes sing-alongs in care homes.

Doug’s illustrated talk ranged from showing inventions from the first efforts at flying to the computer age of Steve Jobs of Apple fame and Tim Berners- Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web. 

The quirky inventions shown are too numerous to list here but encompassed examples such as electricity, the telephone, the TV,  other forms of communication to motor cars and production lines, all now taken for granted but originally decried as unnecessary or unworkable.

Many of the weird and wonderful inventions  originated in the Far East particularly Japan such as  double ended tooth paste to pineapple corers.

He concluded with illustrated examples of successes and failures backed by the investors from the TV series Dragon’s Den.

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