Edison and Innovation Blog

Learning Innovation from Thomas A. Edison
September 19, 2012

Inspire Innovation

Author: Don Mangum, Jr. - Categories: Innovation Quotes, Thomas Edison

Innovating can be discouraging at times. Ideas and inventions are like a child learning to walk. There are a lot of false starts, falling down, and bumping of heads. Often we need encouragement. It is important to find people around us who can encourage and inspire us. Go and find these people. While you are looking, here are some thoughts that inspire us.

Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes. – Mahatma Gandhi

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.
– Maya Angelou

Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat. – F. Scott Fitzgerald

It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.
– Albert Einstein

It’s kind of fun to do the impossible. – Walt Disney

And two great thoughts from Thomas Edison:

Many of life’s failures are experienced by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.

September 11, 2012

Innovation in 3-D

Author: Don Mangum, Jr. - Categories: Become More Innovative - Tags: ,

3-D is one of today’s big buzz words. 3-D products are at the cutting edge of innovation. In today’s blog we’ll show you a revolutionary product, the 3-D Printer, and you don’t need special glasses to use it. It is truly innovative in two important ways. First, it takes what was once science fiction and turns it into reality, as you will see. Second, using this product will enhance the work of many innovators. If you haven’t heard or thought about this product you will find it to be truly amazing. In many ways it works like an ink printer, but instead of laying down a single layer of ink, it lays down multiple layers of materials. Many different types of materials can be used with the 3-D printer, including plastics, metal, wood and ceramics. Here is a video example using the printer to create ceramic products.

Imagine, in the future, instead of children bringing home a handmade cup or paperweight from school , they will design it on the computer, print it and then bring it home. When I was first introduced to this product a few years ago I was astonished by the possibilities. Our company considered using it to make a miniature model of our product to show to a potential client. At that time the process was very expensive, so we finally decided not to order one. Now the technology has taken another step and you can buy a personal 3-D printer. It may still be expensive for home use, but the time is probably coming when you will print 3-D objects at home. Here is an example of a personal 3-D printer.

Our purpose for talking about this remarkable product is two-fold. First, if you aren’t familiar with this technology or haven’t looked at it for a while, you may decide it could be a tool that can help in your innovation. Second, we want to remind all of us to be on the lookout for new tools that can help us in our work. Technology changes rapidly, and while you may be on the cutting edge in your field, what’s going on in other fields? Take a look around you and I’ll bet you’ll be amazed at what you’ll find.

More information on 3-D Printing

CNN Article Click here

Wired.com Video on building your own 3-D Printer for under $1000 Click Here

This blog was originally posted May 24, 2011

September 4, 2012

What is an Innovator?

Author: Don Mangum, Jr. - Categories: Become More Innovative, Innovators - Tags: ,

Wikipedia says this about innovators, “An innovator in a general sense, is a person or an organization who is one of the first to introduce into reality something better than before. That often opens up a new area for others and achieves an innovation.”  One of the keys of this definition is that an innovator opens up new areas for others.  

If you go down the list of revolutionary innovators such as Edison, Ford or Goodyear, you will notice this trend.  One good innovation will spawn many others.  Some people will just be attempting to copy the invention while others will be looking to make improvements.  One of the greatest examples of this is in the area of aviation.

The Wright Brothers pioneered the aircraft in 1903.  In a few short years biplanes were being used both commercially and militarily.  The Wright Brothers did not just create an innovation, they built a legacy.  You can see their legacy every day up in the sky as hundreds of planes transfer people and cargo all around the world.

So as you create your innovation, don’t just look to the present but look to the future.  You not only have the chance to create something new, but also to create a legacy for others to build on.  And that is how you become an innovator.