Edison and Innovation Blog

Learning Innovation from Thomas A. Edison
February 26, 2014

Are You Going to Lead Innovation?

Author: Don Mangum, Jr. - Categories: Steve Jobs - Tags: ,

Innovators are out in front of everyone else.  They can’t help it.  By looking toward the future, they lead industries, companies, organizations and teams.  I have always liked the phrase, “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.”  This is the way it is in innovation, you must lead, follow an innovative leader, or get run over by someone who will.

Here are some thoughts on leadership and innovation.   You may find a thought that, if you take it to heart, will help you lead your innovation to success.

I have always been driven to buck the system, to innovate, to take things beyond where they’ve been.  – Sam Walton

Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations. – Peter Drucker

The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious. – Marcus Aurelius

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. – John Quincy Adams

Steve JobsInnovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it. – Steve Jobs



February 18, 2014

Gold Medal in Innovation

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

Every two years, rotating between spring and summer, the world celebrates the greatness of sport in the Olympics Games. In each event we are shown examples of 1) Hard Work, 2) Perseverance, 3) Determination and 4) Achievement. These four ingredients are not just important in winning a medal but also in being successful in innovation.

We have previously shown this presentation by Peter Vidmar, winner of two gold medals and a silver medal in gymnastics in 1984, because it is an example of how we can learn about innovation everywhere, even in the Olympics. Mr. Vidmar talks about change and innovation in his sport. The principle he addresses applies no matter what you are trying to innovate.

So, while you sit on your couch and watch the Olympics, or anything else, look for lessons in innovation. You may not win a gold medal in the Olympics, but you will find yourself on top of the podium in innovation.

February 13, 2014

Innovation in the Cloud

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

Cloud computing is the next big thing, and it is here. Recently, I have had the chance to use three different cloud-based, file-sharing programs: Googledocs, Microsoft’s Skydrive and Dropbox. The question for today is, which of these products, or any of the other competitors is the most innovative?

Why did I start using these products? In each case I was working on a project with someone who already had an account. We needed to share files quickly and easily. Each of the products have a different type of interface and look a little different. Each worked well, and I have no complaints. I don’t even have a preference among the three. So, which one will turn out to be the most innovative? The program that allows me to have one program I use for file sharing, not three. The one that dominates the market.

The road to innovation is littered with creative and ingenious products that failed to complete the innovation process and find a place in the market. Even with two of Thomas Edison’s greatest inventions, the light bulb and the phonograph, Edison’s technology was supplanted by new innovative products that were able to capture the market. So, in every step of your innovation, take the time to think about how this will find a place in the market. It may make the difference between success and being just another cool product left along the side of the road.

This blog was originally posted December 5, 2012

February 5, 2014

Disruptive Innovation

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

Language is important. Knowing how to convey new ideas is critical in innovation. Concepts of how to take an idea and transform it into a product or process must be communicated and understood. Today we are going to talk a little about part of the language of innovation and the term Disruptive Innovation. This is a concept that if you and your team understand you can greatly increase your probability of success.

What is Disruptive Innovation? It is a term that is often used, but often not understood. We know what the individual words mean, but do we understand the concept. The following video explains the basic idea and can get you on your way to your own disruptive innovation.