What bloggers can learn from the life of Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison was one of the greatest inventors of the early 20th Century. Edison played a role in the creation of many of the things we use today, whether it is the light bulb, alkaline batteries, sound recorder, or many other things.

In fact, even the multi-billion dollar company General Electric was started by Edison!

In this piece, I will share with you 5 lessons from Edison’s life that you can apply today and become a great blogger.

1 – Innovation is not enough to Win! You Need Market Validation.

When Edison was a young man and was thinking of making his first commercial invention, he thought of what would be some of the innovations he could bring about.

At the time, he saw that politicians arguing in the assembly houses often had to shout when casting their votes on a particular issue. He then thought it would be a great idea to create a voting machine that would let them cast their vote.

He then decided that he would create a voting machine. He spent a couple of years working on that. Finally, when the product was ready and perfected, he introduced it to the politicians.

But no one wanted to buy it.

He went to another set of politicians and then another set but he faced rejection everywhere.

Finally, he asked them why they didn’t want to buy it when it would clearly save time and energy.

They said – “Because we want to shout and argue!”

That day Edison had a huge realization. He had only focused on innovation but not on validation as to whether people even wanted what he was making. He had fallen in love with his idea and started working blindly towards it and failed as a result.

That day he told himself – “From now on, I am never going to make something that nobody wants.”

2 – You don’t have to be the first at something, to win!

Edison didn’t actually invent the light bulb, but he was the first one to make the light bulb commercially viable. Before Edison, there were many who actually got a light bulb to work, but they never could make it stay lit long enough so that it was practically usable by people.

Similarly, Google did not make the first search engine. There were many search engines before Google like Yahoo and Altavista. However, Google was the first search engine that completely solved the need of the market.

There have been electric cars for a long, but Elon Musk’s Tesla was the first company that revolutionized through its manufacturing and excellent marketing.

Conclusion: You don’t have to be the first one to create a monopoly. While writing content be relentless and be consistent, and you can dispute the top pages in the time to come.

3 – To Win, Remember Quality comes through Quantity.

Edison is primarily known for Inventing the first commercially successful Electric Bulb, the Sound Recorder, the alkaline battery, etc.

But do you know the number of patents and inventions that Edison actually had? He had 1093 patented inventions!

Edison had incorporated the process of market validation while making his inventions, but despite that not every invention was very successful commercially.

But were those inventions a waste? No. Because every time he made an invention, regardless of whether or not it was commercially successful, it made him a better inventor and it made him even more in touch with what the market actually wanted.

It took him 1093 patented inventions to get lucky a handful of times, but the times he got lucky were enough to make up for all the hard work he put in.

Blogger be relentless and keep writing. Every success and failure will help you to understand the market more closely. Analyzing the incoming traffic on your written pages will give you a clue to understanding market demands and will give more penetration to your keyword targetting.

Quality comes through quantity. Don’t wait for the perfect idea, because there is no perfect idea. There is only perfect execution and learning to execute perfectly happens as a result of working on your craft, day in and day out for years.

Keep on writing good content. There you are.

4 – To Win, Have the Mental Strength To Move On When Things Go Wrong.

In 1914, there was a huge explosion in a factory in New Jersey that Edison owned.

Many people from the fire department came to extinguish the resulting fire but nothing could be done as it was a chemical fire that was almost impossible to stop. Having tried everything that was possible, Edison just watched all his hard work go up in flames.

His son stood next to him. Then Edison told his son to get his mother and friends as they would never see such a humongous fire like that again. He told that to his son as if the fire was a spectacle to be enjoyed. Shocked by what Edison said, his son said, “Our entire factory is completely gone and you want everyone to enjoy the spectacle?”

Then Edison replied — Yes, our entire factory is being burnt down to the ground, but the good thing is that with that factory being burnt down, 20 years of my mistakes have also gone up in flames. We shall start afresh tomorrow.

This shows the unbelievable resilience of Thomas Edison. 20 years of his work had gone up in flames in that factory and yet he shifted perspective to dismiss them as 20 years of mistakes and resolved to start again the next day.

Even if there was negativity going through Edison’s mind, he did not let that affect the team and inspired them to start afresh.

Next year his company made an even greater.

At times bloggers will feel that efforts are too slow, and they will not see traffic in scale. Shut down the negative idea. Be relentless, right more content. Don’t write fluff. Write for the audience. Engage them. Put in efforts for keywords in demand.

5 – Encouragement and Self Belief Greatly Increase Your Chances Of Winning!

When Thomas Edison was a child, he came back home and brought a note with him from school. As he was dyslexic as a child, he couldn’t read it properly and asked his mother to read it. His mother looked at it and looked surprised. Edison asked what the issue was.

She said that the school had written that her son was a genius and no teacher in the school was good enough to teach him. So, there was no need for him to come to school and she could teach him herself.

His mother started teaching Edison, encouraged him when he had problems and helped him become the scientific genius he would grow up to be.

 Several decades later when Thomas Edison had become one of the biggest names of his era and his mother had passed away, he happened to be going through his old things. When he checked his old cupboard, he happened to find the letter the school had sent to his mother.

Edison opened the letter and read it.

The letter wrote – “Your child is mentally retarded and is not good enough for school. He is expelled.”

Edison was extremely moved after reading the letter and he wrote:

Thomas Edison was a mentally retarded kid whose mother’s belief and constant encouragement turned him into a GENIUS!

Even when things are not going good, the right words of encouragement and belief in people can propel them to unbelievable heights!

Here is a recap of what we learnt in this article

1)      Innovation is not enough for winning. You need market validation

2)      You don’t need to be the first to win

3)      To win, remember quality comes through quantity.

4)      To Win, Have The Mental Strength To Move On When Things Go Wrong

5)      Encouragement and Self Belief Greatly Increase Your Chances Of Winning!

I hope you have enjoyed the lessons I have shared in this article using stories from Thomas Edison’s life. If you apply these lessons in your own life or with people around you, success is sure to follow you!

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