Tag Archives: Thomas Edison

Edison's Approach to Goals

The State of the Union address often serves as my first mile marker for reviewing the goals I set for the coming year. It’s right about now that the shiny New Year’s resolutions we made on January 1st don’t look so compelling. At best, many of us have lost a big dose of the motivation we felt for our goals in the first place. At worst, our resolutions have evaporated into thin air.

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Open Innovation Platform – an Exceptional Way to Experiment

Tinkerers like Edison and the lesser known scientist & inventor Joseph Priestley – the first man to isolate oxygen – understood the value of attempts. One of Edison’s more famous quotes, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” sums up his conviction that experimentation and perseverance are paramount to innovative success. In Priestley’s day (illustrated here) – around the time of the American Revolution – coffee houses supplied the patrons with both the chemical (caffeine) & intellectual (collaborative minds) enhancements allowing for ideas to be spread, repurposed and brought to market, thus creating real world value.

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Steve Jobs and Thomas Edison

“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” The most frequently cited words ever spoken by Thomas Edison - for better or for worse - stand as a benchmark for the relationship between inspiration and human effort. But most people need more than 1% inspiration to do anything. In his genius, Edison only needed 1% inspiration…and our mourned wunderkind Steve Jobs as well. But the rest of us need much more than 1% to swing us into action.

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Innovation Essentials – Persistence is Overrated

There’s a prevalent and long-perpetuated myth about innovators, that they are persistent; they don’t give up. Renowned innovators like Henry Ford and Thomas Edison have even said it of themselves, crediting their success in part on their persistence. But it’s at best a poor choice of words and at worst a fundamental misunderstanding of what innovation entails, even by some of its best practitioners.

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Innovator Profile – Sarah Miller Caldicott

What if you were related to Thomas Edison?  You might wonder, as Sarah Miller Caldicott, his great grandniece, did… exactly “why the Edison phonograph and cylindrical records in her childhood home worked so differently from the small plastic record player that spun 45’s and wax LP’s?” She wondered, “How did they get this way?” Wondered indeed. Caldicott went on wondering how ...

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Unlock Your Inner Edison

Aside from patenting over 1,000 ideas in his lifetime, Edison gave birth to the modern ideas-driven organization. As the Time article points out, his Menlo Park “invention factory” was “the forerunner of every business-world creative cockpit, from the Ford engineering center to the Microsoft campus and Google’s Googleplex.”

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