When we think of Thomas Edison, most of us can recall he invented the incandescent lightbulb. It’s easy to forget he was also responsible for other incredible breakthroughs like the telegraph, telephone, phonograph, radio, alkaline storage batteries, and motion picture cameras–he held over 1,093 patents. So what lessons can we learn from Thomas Edison? Here are three.
• He was famous for failing, but failing forward–he learned from his mistakes and didn’t give up until he got it right.
• He had a brilliant mind for inventing valuable and useful items that led to success in business as well. Edison was instrumental in the incorporation of General Electric (GE).
• He came from very humble beginnings and it was his dire financial circumstances that led him to start working at an early age–and that job led to his first patented product, the stock ticker system.
If we compare ourselves to great thinkers we must also look at what they didn’t have going for them just as much as what they did. Edison, for example, was labeled a poor student with a wandering mind by his teachers. A childhood incident left the young inventor nearly deaf. His first invention (a vote-recording machine) was a complete flop, but he took from that experience an approach to focus on inventions with the potential for profit. Many times extraordinary people start out as ordinary, but find a way to get to the next level by focusing on what they love to do and do well while minimizing or not letting their shortcomings get in the way.
FUN FACTS ABOUT THOMAS EDISON http://www.neatorama.com/2008/02/11/10-fascinating-facts-about-edison/