Nathan Myhrvold, former CTO of Microsoft, is all about inventions. He's part of Intellectual Ventures Lab, which strives to come up with solutions to big problems such as curbing bacterial infections and improving wound care. The lab has worked on medical inventions that could save lives, improve diagnostics and conserve energy.
To be an inventor, you need to have failures, he says in this video from the CNN Ideas series. There are a lot of ideas that just won't work in practice, but you have to try out a lot of possibilities so that you can find out which of them does work, he says.
But he doesn't just innovate in medicine. He has also authored a 2,400-page cookbook that has stunning images illustrating the science of cooking, from barbecue to pot roast.
Check out more from Mhyrvold on CNN's Global Public Square, where he demonstrates how to make the perfect French fry, how to zap mosquitoes with lasers to stop the transmission of malaria and his fears that America isn't innovating enough.