HomeideasThomas Edison, failing over 10,000 times, but what if?

Thomas Edison in pursuing the invention of the light bulb failed over 10,000 times trying to find the right combination. While most of us see the persistence of his goal, there are two other stories, back stories, that most are not aware of.

First, when asked, “What would you have done if you had not finally uncovered the secret?” With a merry twinkle in his eyes, he replied, “I would be back in my laboratory working right now, instead of wasting my time talking with you.” (Napoleon Hill, “A Year of Growing Rich”)

Second, Edison was so “gung ho” about creating that as Tesla, one of his assistants, said that if Edison took just a little more time thinking about his inventions he’d be much more productive.

His method was inefficient in the extreme, for an immense ground had to be covered to get anything at all unless blind chance intervened and, at first, I was almost a sorry witness of his doings, knowing that just a little theory and calculation would have saved him 90% of the labour. But he had a veritable contempt for book learning and mathematical knowledge, trusting himself entirely to his inventor’s instinct and practical American sense. Nikola Tesla

What if Edison had changed, what would have he been able to accomplish?

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