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January 17, 2008

Staff Picks: Edison on Innovation

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 7:40 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

I just read a neat book that's coming out soon (Feb. 2008) about Thomas Edison. Now, for those of you who just know the man from the movies starring Rooney ( "Young Tom Edison") or Cagney (Edison the Man or "Edison 2.0" if you want to be cheeky), you may not really KNOW him.
Alex Axelrod, the author of Edison on Innovation: 102 Lessons in Creativity for Business and Beyond describes the man as a real, 3-D kind of guy. People now-a-days, explained in the book, put Edition on a huge, unattainable pedestal. Edison has had more patents out there than anyone (1,093 of them to be exact) and that may make him ominous to emulate. But the author suggests that we should not envision him as this all knowing, awe inspiring 'genius' that we could never become. Axelrod suggests instead, like Edison did (remember his old saying, "Genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration.") that anyone can be a know-it-all, just act like one. There are 101 different ways to do this, according to Axelrod and actually it is a refreshing way to go about invoking creativity, especially in this present day in which everything already seems to have been done.
Edison on Innovation shows us that you should never really give up on your beliefs and ideas, never stop observing and don't lose faith in yourself.