True innovation requires more than great ideas. Though Thomas Edison is famous for a handful of inventions — not least the light bulb and the phonograph — he applied for over 1,500 patents in his lifetime. Many of his applications were either unsuccessful or abandoned, but if we do the math we can deduce that in the 63 years Edison worked as an inventor, he developed an average of two inventions every month. And those were just the ones he considered worthy of a patent. He may have been a genius, but he depended on hard work, his “perspiration,” to bring his ideas into the world.
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