In a battery, I strive to maximize electrical potential. When mentoring, I strive to maximize human potential.
If we're going to get this country out of its current energy situation, we can't just conserve our way out; we can't just drill our way out; we can't bomb our way out. We're going to do it the old-fashioned American way, we're going to invent our way out, working together.
In a wristwatch, imagine the battery is in the strap and there's a medical sensor in there connected to the internet. If someone is monitoring that, they could phone up if the user has forgotten to take some medication. This could save hundreds of dollars in medical fees later. What's missing? It's a stable battery.
People would like better batteries but they are wary of making investments. What is required is both a technology push and a market pull.
Want to know the best thing about being a professor? Colored chalk.