A Word from MPD Talking with Michael Parrish DuDell, our Managing Editor
As it turns out, there are 3,000 ways not to make a lightbulb. That’s what Thomas Edison said when one bold reporter asked exactly how many prototypes had to be created before discovering the lightbulb. If Edison was feeling particularly generous, he might have even shown you a wall full of notebooks containing all 3,000 designs.
Many think of Thomas Edison as strictly an inventor, but that’s only half the story. At his core, Edison was an entrepreneur—a tenacious innovator who found more comfort in an 18-hour day than a good night’s sleep. And, like many entrepreneurs, his pugnacious spunk was evident from the start.
At age 12, Edison was selling newspapers and candies on the train between Port Huron and Detroit. By 15, he was the publisher of his own paper. Not too many years after that, he had earned $40,000 for his work on the telegraph and was on the way to opening his very own lab. Edison didn’t care much for school, had very little interest in authority, and accepted the frustrating notion that only through failure can one truly find success.
Sound like any (or every) entrepreneur you know?
Above all else, Edison refused to quit or to settle for mere satisfaction. “I believe that restlessness is discontent, and discontent is merely the first necessity of progress,” he once said. “Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.”
Edison + ecomagination
It’s important to us at ecomagination that we spotlight the kinds of “Edison-esque” entrepreneurs and companies that are bypassing roadblocks and leading the way. We are fearlessly dedicated to fueling a conversation about solutions, and it’s the entrepreneur who’s always been the most voracious solution seeker of them all. Through dedication, determination, and downright stubbornness, it’s these men and women who are answering today’s most challenging questions.
As innovation becomes increasingly crucial to the progression of our society, the value of the entrepreneur will continue to rise. It will be these makers—these doers—who help create a prosperous economy and a sustainable planet. It will be these uncompromising individuals who help create a better future.
Let’s not forget, sometimes it takes 3,001 tries to finally get it right.
Michael Parrish DuDell