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Why we're saving the next Antikythera Mechanism

Updated: Aug 9

The ingenuity of humankind must be harnessed – if the spark fizzles out, life-saving technology can be lost. When ingenuity leads to innovative developments and the advancement of the world, idea creation is further inspired. However, this cycle, which defines the innovation continuum, is often broken or interrupted because ideas are ignored, quashed, or lost due to a lack of perceived capacity to scale.

Countless historical cases of lost potential speak to this phenomenon, one which Scale Facilitation® aims to quell. Managing Partner, David A. Collard takes inspiration from the Antikythera mechanism, a long-lost ancient Greek invention.

The purpose of the Antikythera mechanism was to calculate and display astronomical phenomena in accordance over time – essentially an orrery. Dates, solar and lunar eclipses, and the cycle of the moon could all be calculated on what is thought to be one of the oldest analog computers.

This complex piece of engineering had dozens of rotating and connecting parts, and cogs turning dials in a manner unique to its millennium – archaeologists are still analyzing it today.

Certainly of its time, one of the dials followed the four-year cycle of the Olympiad and its associated Panhellenic Games.

Had this device, which was variously dated between 205 and 60 BC, not been lost at sea for millennia, it is possible milestones such as modern mechanics, electricity, and even space travel may have happened long before they eventually did. Scale Facilitation® Scouting exists specifically to find projects and ensure they do not get lost in a metaphorical sea of barriers.

Just like many of the innovations saved by Scale Facilitation®, this complex piece of engineering was initially dismissed. The Antikythera Mechanism was even disregarded by modern archaeologists for being implausibly advanced for the period it is from – too good to be true.

Had it been more accurate, from the benefit of the modern world’s understanding of maths and astronomy, the mechanism had the potential to be as reliable and predictive as a laptop. Yet it took the exploration of a shipwreck 2,000 years later to even have the mechanism be taken seriously.

This parallels the barriers to innovation inventors face now, with issues like funding, intellectual property (IP) issues, and legal circuses shooting down amazing ideas.

The story of the Antikythera mechanism motivates the team at Scale Facilitation®. Armed with the resources, expertise, and connections inventors and investors need to deliver innovation to the rest of the world.

Scale Facilitation® steers through safe waters helping us meet the future sooner.