These iconic men, pre-eminent free thinkers, changed our world.
They are the original, and most well-known, disruptors … Disruptors, Inc. TIME Magazine featured both men with special issues over the years to honor their spirit of innovation. Here are two.
Edison disrupted the 1880s technology of illumination, changing it from the use of whale oil, kerosene, candles and manufactured gas to electric lighting-completely upsetting the traditional business model. He also introduced electricity in commercial applications such as factories, stores, and manufacturing. His electric light bulb/power station concept is over 135- years old. He also went on to develop the phonograph and motion pictures. His application of commercial R&D labs completely disrupted the then popular model of the lone-wolf basement/garage inventor-and gave us the team-based new product development model we refer to as technology driven progress.
Einstein disrupted the basis of late 19th century physics to give us radical new perspectives about our world and universe. His creative work yielded the theory of general relatively [which is now celebrating its 100-year anniversary], new ways to understand gravity as a warping of space-time, the conversion of mass to energy [atomic power], and the foundations for solid state electronics. Throughout his life, Einstein attempted to continuously disrupt physics by boiling down the great laws to a just a few powerful concepts.
Interestingly, both men had some trouble with school and the rigid teaching protocols of the day; both having their future potential vastly underestimated by their teachers. Edison and Einstein were operating in the realm of both content knowledge and how to use it (process)–different from what traditional schools valued … testing for content knowledge.
Edison & Einstein are totally consistent with the STEM educational paradigm now sweeping the nation- the inter-mixing of content and process; the championing of creativity and innovation. It is all about problem-solving, asking questions and following through.
Be like Edison & Einstein. Change the world! Check them out at:
“If we all did the things we are really capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves….” [Thomas Edison]