KATE LANGBROEK

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Stellar Contents -

Is as sur­prised as any­one that she’s of­fi­cially an in­ven­tor.

It is un­de­ni­able some peo­ple are sim­ply more in­ven­tive than oth­ers. They seem to be on an eter­nal quest for im­prove­ment and in­ven­tion.

Of­ten n it it’s s the small things, like the dude who ho in­vented the Post-it note. Or the first per­son who ever dunked a Tim Tam am in a cup of cof­fee and used it like a melty, de­li­cious choco­late te straw. I mean, these in­no­va­tions, nno­va­tions, while sim­ple, are hard to top.

Sadly, y, I am not nat­u­ral­lyly gifted in this area, but ut it doesn’t mean I don’t try. In fact, I’m mildly ob­sessedd with try­ing to in­vent nt some­thing. Suc­cess­ful ful in­ven­tion is a num­bersers game. You need to try to “create the new” in n every facet of your life and, , even­tu­ally, you’re gonna hit pay­dirt. Like the other night, ight, when I was try­ing too make a cock­tail with the e dregs of what was left in the he liquor cab­i­net.

It was as slim pick­ings, but I mixed ixed and mea­sured, ed, and came up with the e most de­li­cious drink. Thrilled, I pre­sented nted a glass of my neww con­coc­tion to my hus­band.us­band.

“I call it a Burmese Kit­ten,” I said, watch­ing as he took a cau­tious sip. He swal­lowed. Frowned slightly. Then said: “This is a Kahlúa and Coke.” What a grinch. It was, in fact, a Kahlúa and HALF-COKE. With lem lemon. Clearly, too nu­anced for his pa palate. Any­way, I am noth­ing if n not per­sis­tent. And since the in­ven­tion of the smart­phone smart­phone, I’ve been rack­ing my brain to think of a new app. Thi This is a tricky pur­suit, be­cau be­cause there are al­ready more th than 10 MIL­LION of them. ThereTh are maps and games an­dan “Where’s the near­est servo?” and “Can I turn­tur my phone into a mirr mir­ror to do my make-up?” The lat­ter two were,wer in­ci­den­tally, ideas of mine; ideas so great th they’d al­ready been thought of by some­one else. Which co could be dispir­it­ing. Be­cause some­times it seems all thet good things have al­readyal­read been in­vented and the on­lyo new ideas are bad ones, like ISIS or “new and im­proved”im­pro Bar­be­cue Shapes. But if you think that,tha you’d be wrong. Be­cau Be­cause in Jan­uary this year, I had to make a call to some some­one I didn’t want to speak to.

I was dread­ing it, so as I di­alled I mut­tered that des­per­ate mini-prayer: “Please let it go straight to voice­mail.”

Praise be, it did. And I was so thrilled – so happy and re­lieved – I thought to my­self: “There should be an app for that.”

When I went into work, I men­tioned the idea to our pro­ducer Sacha, and she loved it and clapped her hands with glee, but my funny friend Doubt­ing Hugh­esy said: “Surely some­one has al­ready in­vented that?” which seemed en­tirely

“As I di­alled, I of­fered that des­per­ate miniprayer: ‘Please let it go straight to voice­mail’”

likely, so we called some app de­sign­ers. They re­searched it and then ut­tered the in­cred­i­ble phrase: “This doesn’t ex­ist in Aus­tralia.” And went off and built it.

So now, I am an ac­tual in­ven­tor; the cre­ator of an app called Dub­call. It’s in the App Store and ev­ery­thing. I don’t think it’s go­ing to change the world – only for other chicken-hearts like me who need to call in sick, or want to break up with their Tin­der date, or can’t face speak­ing to their land­lord, or ex.

So I’m throw­ing a party to cel­e­brate. The Burmese Kit­tens are on me, folks! I’ve left the de­tails on your voice­mail.

Kate co-hosts Hugh­esy & Kate, 4–6pm, week­days, on the KIIS FM net­work.

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