What do Gender Reveal Parties, Labradoodles, and Cubicles have in Common?

We have now come to learn that some type of smoke bomb launched at a gender reveal party ignited a wildfire in Southern California – the second time a wildfire started this way. (There was a similar gender reveal fire in 2017 in Arizona.) The person credited with inventing the gender reveal occasion, Jenna Karvunidis, reportedly went on Facebook to denounce her creation as these events can get out of control and become very destructive.

I discussed in my book, Designer Dogs, how Wally Conron, the founder of the Labradoodle wished he never created that mixed breed as his “invention” sparked the very cruel and inhumane designer dog craze which continues to leave a trail of sick, broken, misshapen and discarded dogs all around the world.

An article in Business Insider reports numerous other “creators” also regretting their creations. This group of “Frankensteins” includes Robert Propst, inventor of the office cubicle, an idea to stimulate collaboration, left workers in teeny-tiny spaces with no privacy; the scientists that participated in the Manhattan Project, which developed the atom bomb; and Anna Jarvis, who created Mother’s Day, who hated the commercialization of the holiday and was even arrested for protesting it! Others include the single use K cup (fills up landfills), pepper spray (misused constantly), the double slash in URLs, pop-up ads and more!

What do we make of this? Here we are, in our cubicles, in the midst of a pandemic, surrounded by designer dogs, fires, hurricanes, and plague, wondering — how many good ideas, movements, or concepts gone wrong are we dealing with? Many ideas start as fun, a solution to a problem, a social cause, a thing that makes you laugh, but then mutates into something horrible or just simply clashes with another newly invented good idea.

Still, we would be nowhere without creativity, altruism and sparks of genius. Perhaps, someone can invent super-duper long term vision or get to work on a time machine…