How a bridge was built with a $10 kite-flying contest
Let's go back to 1800s
In this week’s newsletter: Kite-flying in 1800s, Web3 Salary links, & many more…
Hi 👋 Prado here
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Every Friday, I publish one essay & 10 interesting things that will help you become healthy, wealthy and wise 👇
Essay of the week
The year is 1847 and people wanted a cheaper avenue for trade and commerce between the United States and Canada at Niagara Falls.
Engineers got together and started brainstorming ideas to build a bridge across the gorge below Niagara Falls
They thought about having a ferry go across towing a cable, but the river was too turbulent and the boat will be swept far downstream.
How about shooting arrows across? The gap was too wide.
How about cannons and rockets? No.
Why not send a plane or helicopter across? The Wright brothers invented airplane in 1903 bruh.
Then the engineers decided to hold a kite-flying contest.
$10 prize to whoever could fly a kite from one side of the gorge to the other.
After several days of effort, 15-year-old Homan Walsh succeeded in bridging the gorge.
He launched his kite from the Canadian side and managed to get it snagged on a tree on the American side, winning the cash prize.
$10 in 1848 is $100 today.
The bridge engineers used the string to pull a stronger string across the gap, and after several more iterations, they had the two countries bound together by a half-inch cable… Then, they started running more cables across the gap, built a pair of towers, and eventually constructed a suspension bridge.
What happened to the Niagara Suspension Bridge?
Well… it was dismantled in 1897 because it couldn’t handle heavy trains even after changing the wood to steel.
Moral of the story:
Sometimes all you need is a little contest to solve interesting problems.
Hackathons, bounties, and contests are solving interesting problems even today.
Projects like Polygon, Stepn came out of hackathons.
If you are a company, outsource your problems as contests and bounties. You never know who can solve it for you.
If you are a person who wants to solve interesting problems, go to hackathons, finish bounties, and join contests.
Nobody knows this yet but I’m one of the core members who’s building the bounty program for The Product House. Stay tuned.
I was reading How to by Randall Munroe and had come across this story, so I thought I’ll expand it and give more context to it. Cheers.
10 Interesting things for you 🙌
1. The big here quiz (Blog)
2. Something from my Twitter👇
3. I made a notion doc with surveys on how much people are making in the web3 world (Web3 Salary links)
4. Guess the total amount of money scammed from Crypto, Web3, NFTs, etc?
5. Interesting fact of the week:- If you made a dollar every second, it'd take 100 minutes (1.6hours) to make $6000.
To make $16B it'll take 507 years.
6. Question of the week:- Found some amazing answers here 👇
7. Picture of the week:- I could’ve never written a letter like this :))
9. Meme of the week:- lol
10. Quote of the week:
"Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it's not because they enjoy solitude. It's because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them." - Jodi Picoult, My Sister's Keeper
(Tweet this quote)
"The present is the past rolled up for action, and the past is the present unrolled for understanding" - The Lessons of history
(Tweet this quote)
“Suffering is just about the easiest of all human activities; being happy is just about the hardest. And happiness requires, not surrender to guilt, but emancipation from guilt.” — Nathaniel Branden
(Tweet this quote)
Check out some previous newsletters:
Diderot Effect (Read)
Life’s lines of Closeness (Read)
Cathedral Thinkers (Read)
Join in if you want me to trigger your curiosity every week👇
Personal Announcement 🚨
No personal announcements this week 🙌 In BLR this month, hit me up on Twitter and let’s take a walk.
In This Together,
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