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People Who Hate Their Own Inventions

Updated May 25, 2019 23.3k views16 items

Every day, scientists, and technicians work tirelessly to create new inventions that will have a positive effect on our lives. But imagine if you were an inventor whose creation was suddenly used in a completely different and terrible way - how would that make you feel? Inventors and inventions are like parents and children, and when they see their creations turned inside out, it can have a horrible effect on them. Scientists like Arthur Galston, the accidental inventor of Agent Orange, have had to watch as their beloved work was turned into a killing machine. But some people just make bad inventions. For instance,Mikhail Kalashnikov regretted making cheap, poorly-constructed automatic machine guns, and the guy who invented the pop-up ad felt terrible about making us all suffer through that. We've put together a list of other inventors whose inventions went wrong for you to take a look at below.  

For creative people, it can be disheartening to see inventions - and the inventors who worked tirelessly to create something new - turned into something terrible. But don’t get too bummed out - not all inventions gone bad were used to murder giant swathes of people. Some inventors' inventions that turned out to be regrettable mistakes are actually very cute, like the labradoodle.   

Check out this list of people who hate their own inventions below, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section. 
  • McAfee Anti-Virus Inventor Doesn't Use It

    McAfee Anti-Virus Inventor Doesn't Use It
    Photo: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
    John McAfee, the inventor of the first commercial anti-virus program, told FT Magazine that he doesn't even use his own product. He said, "I take it off [of my computer]. It's too annoying." Annoyance is the least of his problems, since developing the software made him a target for hackers looking to prove their street cred. To escape their attacks, he has to make other people buy his computers for him, use pseudonyms for logins, and constantly change his IP address.
  • The Man Who Invented Pop Up Ads Is Very Sorry

    Ethan Zuckerman originally intended for pop up ads to be used to advertise a website without putting it directly on the page, which advertisers worried would imply an association between their brand and the page’s content. But when Zuckerman wrote the code that allowed the ad to actually "pop up," he changed the Internet forever.
  • The Guy Who Invented K-Cups Never Meant to Destroy the Environment

    Right about now there's some real egg on John Sylvan's face. It turns out that K-Cups, those little coffee pods that you feed to your Keurig machine, are destroying the environment. Sylvan sold his share of the company in 1997, and recently said, "They're kind of expensive to use ... it’s not like drip coffee is tough to make."
  • Who Knew the Atomic Bomb Would Be Used to Harm People?
    Photo: Oren Jack Turner / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
    In short, J. Robert Oppenheimer used Albert Einstein's research focusing on harnessing nuclear energy for the purposes of building bombs to create the atomic bomb that laid waste to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Einstein later said about the bomb, ""Had I known that the Germans would not succeed in producing an atomic bomb," he said, "I would have never lifted a finger."

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