The world has seen a lot of inventions that we have come to even forget that some things were actually invented because they are too normal that they come to seem like they have always been there for humans since the start of time. The irony is that everything was actually created by someone, and while most people are proud of the things associated with their names, there are also inventors that regret their inventions.
Let’s give it, some of the inventions are not things to be very proud of because they are very harmful to man and humanity as a whole, but there are others that are just there, yet their creators are not proud of them.
What makes this list even more interesting is the fact that some of these people that have come to regret their inventions are not new when it comes to inventing things. It will interest you to know that some of the inventions have made the inventors billionaires, but they are still not happy with what they have created. The bad news is that what has been done cannot be undone.
Here are 11 inventors that regret their inventions:
Table of Contents
Robert Oppenheimer (Atomic Bomb)
Alfred Nobel (Dynamite)
Mikhail Kalashnikov (AK47)
Orville Wright (The Airplane)
Kamran Loghman (Pepper Spray)
Dong Nguyen (Flappy Bird)
Vincent Connare (Comic Sans)
Tim Berners Lee (The double slash)
John Sylvan (Coffee capsules)
Ethan Zuckerman (The pop-up advert)
Bob Propst (The office cubicle)
1. Robert Oppenheimer (Atomic Bomb)
As you would rightly guess, it is hard to assume that this man, died without regrets as he is still regarded as the father of the Atomic Bomb which he created during the World War II.
At the time of leading the research for the development of this weapon that would come to cause a lot of damage to the world, J. Robert Oppenheimer who was a physicist and professor of physics at the University of California and leader of the team that worked on the project, actually believed that they were helping the United States and its allies to win and end the war as soon as possible.
Even though his invention became very successful, the man and his team didn’t find it easy in themselves seeing what they have done with the number of lives lost to it, most especially the estimated 80,000 people in Hiroshima which left 90% of the town dead, and an estimated 40,000 people in Nagasaki, they came to greatly regret what they have done.
In his regret, the man left behind this famous quote; I have become death, the destroyer of worlds.
2. Alfred Nobel (Dynamite)
You have heard of Alfred Nobel before, but probably it is Prize and not an inventor. Well, the prize was actually named after this man who was a Swedish chemist, inventor, and engineer. His most famous invention apart from the prize which he left as part of his will, is the Dynamite, an invention that brought him much sadness.
Interestingly enough, while on his work to develop the dynamite which was later patented in 1867, Nobel actually believed that he was developing something that would end all wars and not something to make it even larger. Nevertheless, the first casualty of his weapon became his brother, Emil. The argument he proposed was that with the introduction of the dynamite, soldiers would not go and fight each other knowing that they both have a weapon that would kill them both.
Instead, his invention soon became a weapon that killed a lot of people, and in order not to leave such a legacy that he considered disgraceful, the man decided to establish the Nobel Peace Prize using a large chunk of his inheritance.
3. Mikhail Kalashnikov (AK47)
There is hardly a list of inventors that regret their inventions that will have Mikhail Kalashnikov missing. This is because the man is the inventor of the most popular gun which has as well been the most popular for a very long time.
Mikhail Kalashnikov was a Russian soldier who designed the semi-automatic rifle that could be mass produced towards the end of the 2nd world war. Just as it was easy and cheap to mass produce, it became easy and cheap for terrorists, gang lords, countries, and many others that wanted them to get them.
The man went on to live many more years before dying in 2013. By this time, he had already seen the millions of lives that have been lost thanks to the efficiency and cheapness of his gun. He was quoted to have always asked if he was responsible for all the deaths that were caused by his gun. The invention brought so much regret to the man.
4. Orville Wright (The Airplane)
The Wright brothers have devoted their lives to developing the airplane. While it remains one of the things that will keep people wondering how the brothers were able to pull a thing like that, it didn’t leave them without regrets.
At best, Orville and Wilbur Wright hoped that they would see their invention used for transportation and other things that did not involve war. When in 1909 they sold their planes to the US Army, what was on their minds was that the government was going to use it for the purpose of observation. That was what they believed until the WW1 came and Orville was alive to see how his invention was put to use. He said that the airplane has made war terrible that hardly would anyone want to start a war.
For the second time, he was wrong as he again saw what it was used for again during the Second World War. In his regret, the man said he wished he and his brother had invented something else that could bring about world peace.
5. Kamran Loghman (Pepper Spray)
While this may not be as dangerous as others on the list, Kamran Loghman still has reasons to regret inventing it. The man who was an FBI agent was instrumental in turning the pepper spray into a weapon. It is very important for women most especially as regards sexual predators and people who would attack them.
Nevertheless, as a weapon, security forces have come to be using it against civilians, which has attracted a lot of backlashes. The only reason for the development of the pepper spray according to its inventor is only when an individual physically threatening a police officer or another person. However, because of its use against defenseless civilians, the man has come to hate what he has invented.
While the above are more serious cases, here are inventors that regret their inventions for less dangerous reasons:
6. Dong Nguyen (Flappy Bird)
He didn’t invent anything that would kill anyone instead what Dong Nguyen gave the world was a simple game, Flappy bird. While on the surface no one would see any reason why the man would a game he created, the game became very addictive for many people because while it was very interesting and playable on one hand, it is quite difficult enough to make you feel you can achieve better on the next try.
With his invention, Nguyen made a lot of money as it became a popular download on app stores, but the guilt that many people were becoming sort of slaves to the game was bordering him. This is even as the game was turning out $50,000 a day. As a result of this guilt, the man decided to call it quits and withdraw the game from all app stores.
“But it happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem. To solve that problem, it’s best to take down Flappy Bird. It’s gone forever,” he said.
7. Vincent Connare (Comic Sans)
One of the big questions that many people would come to ask is why someone would waste his time regretting why he created a font type since it is something that is completely harmless. Well, not Vincent Connare. This man who believes the font is not one that one should hate, or even love at the moment, also has a lot of people believing the same thing.
His problem with this font which was originally designed for Microsoft application aimed at children has been overused and misused by a lot of people. He accepts that it is a very great font, but he can’t help regretting his invention because of how it has been abused.
8. Tim Berners Lee (The double slash)
Have you heard of the man Tim Berners Lee before now? If you have not, the man is the inventor of the HTML and the creator of the World Wide Web. Even as we, the users today do not see any problem with his invention, and are, in fact, grateful to him, the man is not very proud of his invention. The simple reason is that he added the need for the two slashes that you add in your address bar even though the internet would have survived it.
That is his regret with his invention, and that is because of the inconvenience he believes it has caused some people.
9. John Sylvan (Coffee capsules)
When he invented the American coffee pod, little did this man know that he was starting something that would grow into a multibillion-dollar company. At the same time, he didn’t know that he was starting something that would fill him with regrets in years to come.
The regret that this man has is as regards the fact that the K-cups which he created cannot be recycled and that has not been among the most environmentally friendly products.
10. Ethan Zuckerman (The pop-up advert)
This man really should have something to regret, because he is the reason why you see some people get very frustrated when they are on their computers because some pop-up adverts keep coming showing up.
Just as many of us would waste no time in blaming him, even without knowing him, the man has humbly accepted that his invention isn’t one of the best. In his essay, “The Internet’s Original Sin,” Ethan Zuckerman wrote about the most hated thing on the internet, “I wrote the code to launch the window and run an ad in it. I’m sorry. Our intentions were good.”
11. Bob Propst (The office cubicle)
Just as all other inventions that the inventors have come to regret, Bob Propst had good intentions when he came with the idea of coming up with the office cubicle, something that would “give knowledge workers a more flexible, fluid environment than the rat-maze boxes of offices.”
Years down the line after his invention, the man would come to regret it saying that it has contributed to what he called monolithic insanity.