Management Hall of Fame
Most Respected Management Gurus
GE - The Business of Invention (1847-1931)
- "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration" (Thomas Edison)
Inventor & Businessman - A Rare Combination
- Sells newspapers on the Grand Trunk Railway.
- Works as a telegraph operator; travels across the United States.
- Patents his first invention, an electric vote recorder.
- Takes up inventing full time. Starts his first business, making telegraph equipment.
- Opens a factory and laboratory - Thus creating the first product research lab
- Then develops quadruplex system for the telegraph, Invents the phonograph & develops the first commercially viable electric light bulb.
- Opens Pearl Street Central Power Station in New York City.
- Forms Edison General Electric, and invents the Kinetograph (an early motion picture camera).
- Edison General Electric merges with Thomson-Houston to become General Electric. Edison sells his interest.
- Invents a nickel-iron-alkaline storage battery.
- By end of his career he started up or controlled 13 major companies.
- He is recognize the genius of his times and credited with life changing inventions. By the end of his life Edison had accumulated 1,093 U.S. and 1,300 foreign patents.
- He was also a pragmatic business man who realized the innovation alone was not sufficient
- He understood the value of intellectual property as an assets and made effective use of to patenting
- He understood the importance of entrepreneurship and that commercial success. and that he needed business partner
Books & References:
- Edison: Inventing the Century. New York: Hyperion, 1999.
- Josephson, Mathew. Edison: A Biography. New York: John Wiley, 1992.
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