9 things we can learn about Blogging from Edison

9 things we can learn about Blogging from Edison

(Photo courtesy of The New Yorker)

I know the reputation of Edison has taken a beating in recent years.  He was not very good at giving credit where credit is due to his employees, and he was quite the ruthless businessman, not the laid-back genius as he was formerly portrayed. 

He did have, however, have words of wisdom, some of which can help us to better understand blogging. Let's put aside his recently tarnished reputation for a minute.  He did set up his laboratory here in NJ where I live, in both Menlo Park, and East Orange, so he had that going for him.


1) “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.”  You don't have to have something great to start, you just need to imagine what it is you want to create, whether it is a physical product or a piece of software, even if you start with nothing at all.

2) “To have a great idea, have a lot of them.”  This is how brainstorming works. You need a great number of ideas, most of which will be thrown out, but out of one hundred or one thousand different ideas, there may be one which is truly great!

3) “I never perfected an invention that I did not think about in terms of the service it might give others… I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent.”  This is an essential principle of any good business. You either need to substantially improve on an existing idea, or discover something that people need but do not yet have a good solution to solve their problem. 

4) “Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.”  If you can work seriously with a given purpose on goal-oriented work, that is likely to bring good result.  The difficult part is deciding where to focus to achieve the best possible result.

5) “Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits.”  Edison was blessed with unbridled ambition. It took Thomas Edison superhuman feats of biology to fuel his astoundingly ambitious to-do list. He reportedly slept a mere three to four hours at night, “regarding sleep as a waste of time, 'a heritage from our cave days,'” as James Maas tells us in his 1997 productivity bestseller Power Sleep (public library). You may not have to deprive yourself of sleep as he did, but there is no substitute for hard work as any successful businessman or businesss will tell you.

6) “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”   This is one of his most famous quotations, and one I have always liked. You may have great ideas for a blog or a business, but unless you put in the sweat equity to make it work, you will not have the success you desire.

7) “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  Many people lose inspiration or hope when things do not go well at first.  You probably know the answer to this question, "What does it take to get into Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.

8)  “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” Many bloggers give up after only a month or two.  Anything worthwile will take time to find success.

9)  “I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.”  In the middle of your struggle, you may not feel this way, but in looking back, Edison may have envisioned that his work was fun in looking back at his life, but I am sure in large measure he did view his work as fun.

Best of success in all your endeavors.

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John Lombaerde – Markethive Entrepreneur One

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