Thomas Edison, Technical Entrepreneur
My piece in Works in Progress
Works in Progress released a piece from me diving into Thomas Edison’s Herculean contributions as a technical entrepreneur. He was not often the first to invent the technologies which his name has become synonymous with, but he did not even see himself as an ‘inventor.’
We have a word for people like him now: technical entrepreneur And he was the best ever.
He took tech that barely worked and made it useful
He took products to market at prices people were willing to pay
He made things that could be manufactured at scale
He set outrageous deadlines AND hit them
He built systems with others' inventions that the original inventors didn't dream of
So no, he was not an inventor. He was something even better
Also, tragically, I don't think the modern US could make use of someone of Edison's talents. Check out the piece to learn how Edison did what he did and why a modern-day Edison might be wasted on today's US.
Check it out here!!
For those interested, check out the podcast I put together exploring what it was like to work in Edison’s lab:
I have another piece coming out Thursday diving into why the historical evidence leads me to believe there is a better hypothesis than the ‘burden of knowledge’ hypothesis to address the question, ‘What is the primary driver of the scientific slowdown?’ Stay tuned for that!