Had he lived longer, my father, Bill Boyle, would be approaching age 100. While it is true he lived a long life, Dad’s life was cut short before he could hit his stride and for him, life was filled with adversity and unfairness.
Dad worked hard during his productive years. He was solely responsible for developing several genius inventions. Dad spent hours in his shop with the hope of improving and entertaining mankind, along with, of course, the desire to make piles of money.
I am saddened to be reminded that my father never gained the fame and fortune he so righteously deserved. Had things gone his way he could have become a billionaire titan rubbing elbows with the inventors and product producers of today. His name could have been included with well-known inventors and innovators such as Bill Gates of Microsoft, Howard Schultz of Starbucks, Elon Musk of Tesla, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook just to name a few.
My dad, like Elon Musk, always seemed to be hindered by the difficulty that held him back from his dreams of greatness.
Of course, I inherited the curse of his failure. Had Dad made it big, I could have inherited big and now be a second generation billionaire living in a mansion with a garage full of Teslas mixed in with my fleet of Rolls Royce automobiles.
Let me share a few of Dad’s inventions and ideas to demonstrate how close a good hard working man can get to greatness, wealth, and fame and yet entirely miss the mark. In all cases, it was others such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs who robbed my father of his ideas, wealth and fame.
ROBBER BARON: Weisfield Jewelers and other big names in the jewelry business took Dad’s jewelry design idea, made a small change and then called it their own.
Dime & Stick Pin.
DAD’S ORIGINAL INVENTION / DESIGN #1: PROTOTYPE DIME & STICK PIN. He was so close to winning big money.
ROBBER BARON: Many manufacturers stole my Dad’s plan never paying him a dime or diamond stick pin. Once they had Dad’s idea, they made millions with their greasy noisy chainsaws.
Whisper quiet chainsaw.
DAD’S INVENTION #2: Whisper quiet non-greasy chainsaw.
ROBBER BARON: Jewelers stole Dad’s idea, made a few changes to the money clip and then stuffed millions into their money clip without ever paying Dad a cent for his design concept.
DAD’S INVENTION #3: Money clip.
Because big business cheated Dad on his tool and jewelry inventions, he decided to focus his inventing genius in more high tech direction; the personal computer.
ROBBER BARON: People like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs stole my Dad’s preliminary ideas for personal computing and made millions when they developed the computer known as the laptop. They took Dad’s hard work without bestowing even an accolade on him. They could have given him some company stock; anything; but no; they gave him nothing.LAPTOP – Microsoft and Apple concept.
Industry concept, the laptop, promoted by Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.FOOT-TOP – Invented by Bill Boyle
DAD’S INVENTION #4: My Dad, invented the foot-top computer. He was within 2 feet of the big payoff now known as the laptop. Once again, he was so close to putting his hands on big money, only to watch the cash, power, and fame slip through his fingers.
HEAD-TOP – Invented by Bill Boyle
DAD’S INVENTION #5: Before the foot-top computer, Dad invented the head-top computer, but realized holding the mirror and operating the keyboard would only appeal to the most agile blessed with long arms. Inventing is all about trial and error experiments. He next moved to the foot-top computer. He almost hit fame and fortune but pushed his scientific experiment too far south.
So there you have it, a sad story spanning four generations which helps explain why I live in a small shack instead of a mansion. Along with me, my child and grandchildren are going to have to make it in life on their own. None of us will ever enjoy the lifestyle of the rich and famous trust fund kids.
Larry King says
I loved your dad. He was one of the most interesting and humorous people I ever met. His endless stories would always keep me listening in his workshop. It was a great opportunity for a young man like myself. I still remember some of his jokes from more than fifty years ago.
Jessie Garza, Jr. says
Joe, as always; I enjoyed reading your story about your father!