Well, the problem was *in* his hands! He hadn’t created it as a toy or a puzzle, just something that could demonstrate a structure with parts moving separately without the whole thing falling apart, as part of his job at the Academy of Applied Arts and Crafts in Budapest.
It was only when he twisted the parts and broke the pattern of colours on the sides, he realised he didn’t know how to put the patterns back together! That’s hilarious, that the first problem to suffer from failing at the Rubik’s cube was Rubik himself!
He then realised that he had indeed created a puzzle, and sold the licence to the Ideal Toy Corp. Patent law for things like this can be a nightmare, and there is still argument as to whether the idea originally came from others.
A US patent was granted in 1972 for a 2x2x2 puzzle, held together by magnets, and a UK patent in 1974 for a spherical 3x3x3. Ideal Toys knew all too well about the complexities of toy patents, so went instead for a name they could trademark. Rubik had originally called his invention Magic Cube, but that was never going to fly as a trademark, so the name eventually settled on was of course, the Rubik’s Cube.
It went viral as a fad, and I was in my teens at the time, so was slap bang in the middle of it. There were little key ring versions, round versions, versions with 5 squares along each side and so on, but all those versions did was cement the basic 3x3x3 cube as a *classic*.
Hundreds of millions of sales later, you can’t really argue!
It took me a long time to get one finished, and my groans of frustration joined the worldwide throng of frustration! Nowadays there are many documented ways of solving the puzzle, but if you handed me one and told me to do it myself, I’d be right back to that frustration of the 1980s! There are great lessons to be had from the anniversary though…
It’s not unusual for an invention to appear by accident in the process of creating something else, there are many famous examples. This is one of them, and it goes to show that you never know what might be waiting just around the corner, once you start taking action! If you never take action, that surprise around the corner will *stay* just around the corner – you’ll never see it!
As for the cube itself, well, it’s a perfect way of illustrating that in order to get to a solution, you may have to go through lots of trial and error, lots of ‘failure’, lots of putting lining up the pieces in the wrong order, before BHAM! You have suddenly got to the solution.
I can think of many times in my life when this has applied, I bet you can too! In fact, stop for a second, right now, and think of an example from your life which relates to the Rubik’s cube. Maybe you are working on just such a life puzzle right now. Got one? Good, now get in touch and let me know what it is, I’d love to hear!
The Rubik’s Cube certainly does take me back, I’m not sure I ever did actually throw one out of a window, but I know I certainly felt like it! 40 years after its’ invention, do take a moment to think about the lessons (and yes, fun) it reminds you of.
Do get in touch, and feel free to share this article if you enjoyed via the social media buttons below, I appreciate it!
‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
P.S. Don’t forget to look at my motivational book ‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’