Dean's Open Road
Happenstance of Fate (2:15)
There Is No Right Answer (0:43)
Is It Worth It? (1:12)
Public Television: Season 4
advantages, asking questions, challenge, diabetes, inventions, mental experiment, needle, pediatric cancer, pump, segway, something better, there's something better, time, water filter, water purification
After looking back on the important things he has accomplished, Dean sums up his personal philosophy: "Maybe you'll end up as a doctor. Maybe you'll end up as a poet, or a dancer. It doesn't matter. What matters is that you set out to do something important. You did it well." As a curious college student who learned more outside the classroom than inside, he used his time on campus to talk with professors about things that interested him. In his life, as in his approach to multiple-choice tests at school, he refused to accept a limited number of correct answers, an attitude that served him well in the years to come. A firm believer in the power of chance, he accepted challenges that came his way, beginning with an engineering problem with which his older brother, a pediatric cancer researcher, was grappling. Relying on his ingenuity and indulging his desire to find "different answers," Dean invented a pump for delivering small amounts of drugs to children. One of his brother's colleagues used the pump to deliver insulin to diabetics, an application that proved lucrative. Other inventions followed, including attempts to improve water quality around the world. Dean encourages others to try the mental experiment he performs before starting a new project: Imagine that you are wildly successful in the future. How long will it take to get there? Is it worth investing so many years of your life? If it is, go for it. If it isn't, do something else.