Franz Reichelt was a French parachute inventor that lived over a 100 years ago. One day he decided that he would demonstrate his great new invention by jumping off the Eiffel Tower.


His good friend was an inventor and had created parachutes that actually worked. Looking at Reichelt’s parachute he warned against it.

“Reichelt, you fool. The surface area of your material is way to small.”

Reichelt didn’t listen.

At that time, most inventors used dummy models to test their parachutes. Reichelt was so sure that it would work that he insisted on jumping himself. He spent months petitioning the French police to allow him to jump.

On the day of the jump, spectators tried to dissuade him. Friends pleaded. The police tried to stop him. He eventually snuck past security, ignoring them all.

Reichelt jumped, his parachute immediately tangled, and he plummeted to his death.

The next day the newspapers reported on the reckless inventor, putting his name down in history as “The Flying Tailor.”


The moral of the story: Don’t let your ego drive your decisions. Being “certain” about anything could get you killed.

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