“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration,” Thomas Edison famously observed. This remains one of the most quoted—and insightful—observations ever made on the subject. It is testimony to his special place in the pantheon of innovation, too, that the light bulb that he invented has become synonymous with new ideas and innovation.
Lesson 1: Innovation begets innovation
To understand innovation, Edison’s own life is instructive. His observation about the effort required to turn ideas into innovations was also the maxim by which he lived. By the end of his extraordinary career, Edison had accumulated . . .
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