Thomas Edison on Failure

The MOOCS are Coming, The MOOCS are Coming!So how do you take failure? Do you simply move onto something else, or do you double-down and take another cut at the challenge that just floored you? Do you have a rep at work or with friends that characterizes you as someone who never gives up?

Thomas Edison was fond of saying … “I can never find the things that work best until I know the things that don’t work.”

That “Edisonian” style of stubborn perseverance is often the hallmark of successful inventors and entrepreneurs … people who change the world. When searching for the right, long-life filament for his nascent electric light bulb technology, legend has it the great inventor tried several thousand different materials, before he found the right one.

“Results! Why man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won’t work.”

Remember this important fact. During Edison’s career, he filled 4,000 laboratory notebooks-about 3200 of them were the large ledger type volumes and 800 were small notebooks. This is the kind of man who carefully documented and constantly re-visited his notes to look for places for improvement- always learning from failure.

While perfecting his famous nickel-iron storage batteries, he is said to have quipped to a reporter’s admonishment on his lack of success …

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Undaunted, Thomas Edison went on to develop a legendary battery that was used in many applications the world over; in fact, it was probably his most profitable product.

At the Edison Foundations we find great guidance in Edison’s work ethic and never give-up attitude. This valuable advice came early in life from his mother, Nancy Elliot Edison, who home-schooled the young boy.

We have coined our own version of Mr. Edison’s spirit, “Fail your way to success!”

Thomas Edison on Time MagazineThomas Edison said ……“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Time ® is a registered trademark of Time Inc.

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Giving Tuesday: December 2, 2014

PLEASE HELP SUPPORT OUR CAUSE ON GIVING TUESDAY

PLEASE HELP SUPPORT OUR CAUSE ON GIVING TUESDAY

Please consider making a contribution on Giving Tuesday to the efforts of the Edison Foundation to run the competition, give awards to the winners and stipends to their teachers.  There are no donation minimums but anyone donating before December 31, 2014 will receive one (1)  free music album download (up to $15.00) on Apple I-tunes for each $100.00 contribution.

Edison Innovation Foundation is a non-profit based in Newark, New Jersey that supports science and technology education and the Edison Legacy.

Our Website: ThomasEdison.org
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ALSO JOIN OUR ALTERNATIVE ENERGY COMPETITION

Thomas Edison in Your Classroom ... Attention Teachers!On October 2014, we announced our 5th Annual Edison Invention Challenge for grades 6 to 12. Students and others are encouraged to create a new invention using alternative technology (wind, solar or fuel cell technology).

In the spring of 2015, the winners and their school and teachers will be announced at an awards event. If you are in grades 6 to 12, you can join the invention challenge. December 8, 2014 is final entry date.

Learn more details by logging onto:EdisonInventionChallenge.org

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Thomas Edison – as Seen by an International Venture Capitalist … in his own words

I recently visited the Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange, NJ as a guest advisor to the Edison Innovation Foundation. I learned many things that I wish to share with you here.

He invented a power generation system, the light bulb, the phonograph, and even motion pictures. I knew Edison was an inventor who had filed more than 1,000 patent applications during his lifetime, but was amazed to learn he had commercialized his inventions, developed production processes, employed people, and carried out marketing and other activities. In other words, he was an entrepreneur who established a technology startup based on his R&D (= invention) and commercialized his invented technologies.

The Thomas Edison invention factory at West Orange, NJ where he proved to the world that invention and entrepreneurship is a powerful force for progress, economic growth and social good.

The Thomas Edison invention factory at West Orange, NJ where he proved to the world that invention and entrepreneurship is a powerful force for progress, economic growth and social good.

People often don’t realize that Edison was actually a great entrepreneur as well as a great inventor, who created not just inventions but also many industries and employment. The scale of his achievements is simply breathtaking.

Yoshito Hori enjoys some reflection as he sits at the desk of the world’s greatest inventor and fellow entrepreneur, Thomas Edison

Yoshito Hori enjoys some reflection as he sits at the desk of the world’s greatest inventor and fellow entrepreneur, Thomas Edison

I run a venture capital fund (GLOBIS CAPITAL PARTNERS) so I know that even just R&D alone is difficult. But it is even more difficult to commercialize technologies, create production processes from scratch, mass-produce high-quality products, gain new customers, generate sales, and build a system to keep making profits continuously. To do all this, the company needs to hire many good people, and then manage and train them.

Invention and commercialization drive the evolution of society. “I believe that for every problem God has given us, He has a solution,” said Edison. He was right; the role of entrepreneurs is to solve social problems.

Edison also said, “I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.” I completely agree. For me, too, work is fun rather than a hardship. I have decided to lead a fun-filled life as entrepreneur Yoshito Hori, like entrepreneur Edison.

Yoshito Hori, GLOBIS Chairman and CEO 
[Yoshito (Yoshi) runs the GLOBIS Graduate School of Management and venture capital business, a representative director of the G1 Summit Institute and the KIBOW Foundation, chair of a committee of Keizai Doyukai (Japan Association of Corporate Executives), co-chair of the WEF’s Global Growth Companies, and a member of a Japanese Government committee.]

Thomas Edison on Time MagazineThomas Edison said … “If we all did the things we are really capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves …”

Time ® is a registered trademark of Time Inc.

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