Thomas Edison was one of the greatest inventors and businessmen of all time. He held over 1,000 patents and founded companies that would become massive corporations like General Electric. One of Edison's most iconic inventions was the light bulb. His improvements in wiring and electricity distribution were instrumental in allowing electric lights to become commonly used.

Edison's wiring techniques and approach to innovation can provide inspiration for improving our lives even today. By studying Edison, I have learned valuable lessons that have helped me in both my career and personal life.

Leveraging Trial and Error

Edison famously went through thousands of experiments before creating a commercially viable light bulb. He would try slight variations in materials and design, systematically testing different possibilities.

This rigorous approach taught me the power of trial and error. When tackling a difficult challenge, I now leverage iteration and testing, rather than getting discouraged at initial failure. I break large problems down into smaller experiments, and learn from each attempt.

For example, when I wanted to improve my fitness last year, I identified incremental goals like walking more steps each day or trying new exercises. Over time, these small iterations led to major improvements.

Building a Great Team

While Edison was a brilliant inventor, he did not work alone. He assembled a "dream team" of scientists and engineers at his lab in Menlo Park.

Edison understood the importance of collaboration and teamwork. This inspired me to be more intentional about the teams I build in my work and life.

For instance, when launching a new product last year, I handpicked a small group of talented designers, developers, and marketers. By getting alignment and buy-in across this team early on, we were able to execute our product roadmap much faster.

Relentless Work Ethic

Edison was famous for his tireless work ethic. He would routinely work over 80 hours a week in his lab. His tenacity and perseverance were crucial in overcoming the numerous obstacles on the path to inventing the light bulb.

Seeing Edison's relentless drive motivates me to work hard and never give up. When I have an important deadline or challenging stretch at work, I remind myself that Edison never stopped striving. This pushes me to power through obstacles and focus on achieving my goals.

For example, last month I used Edison's work ethic as inspiration when I had to complete a complex analysis under a tight timeline. Whenever I felt overwhelmed, I thought "What would Edison do?" - and kept going. My ability to channel that intensity allowed me to complete the project on time to a high standard.

Continuously Innovating

Even after inventing the light bulb and bringing electricity to millions of homes, Edison never stopped innovating. He was constantly looking for problems to solve and new ideas to test.

Edison showed me that innovation is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. Today, I continually challenge myself to find ways to improve my work, streamline processes and pioneer creative solutions.

For example, last quarter I introduced an automated reporting dashboard for my team that updates in real-time. This removed tedious manual processes and gives us greater data visibility. Taking an "Edison mindset" helps me continue innovating daily.

While he lived over a century ago, Thomas Edison's genius and approach are still applicable today. By emulating his wiring techniques, work ethic, teambuilding, and relentless innovation, I have been able to light up both my professional and personal life. Edison teaches us that with passion and persistence, we can electrify the world around us.