Thomas Edison was a busy individual. As America’s most famous inventor, he brought ideas and products to the market that still influence us today.
He readily admitted his failures, but considered them part of the process, saying “I have not failed 10,000 times—I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.”
And that was one of his knacks for innovation: he minimized the risk by having multiple threads and ideas going concurrently, so as not to rely on any single invention.
He also knew he could save time by learning about how other people succeeded and failed, applying that to his own endeavors.
“I regard it as a criminal waste of time to go through the slow and painful ordeal of ascertaining things for one's self if these same things have already been ascertained and made available by others.” — Thomas Edison
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Edison was such a strange dichotomy of a man. His team’s speed to market with inventions was dizzying. But with nearly equal fervor was his jealousy and hatred of Nikola Tesla.
Edison had the standard scientific approach: hypothesize, then test until success.
Tesla was a singular genius who could see the end results in his head. It drove Edison mad that Tesla was not only a one-man show, he was almost always right the first time, and his ideas were so advanced for the time, to this day, some of his military applications remain secret.
Edison’s greatest weapon against Tesla? Marketing. Edison was a born showman and knew how to work a crowd and the press.