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There were other light bulbs invented before Thomas light bulb, but the problem was they were not practical. The early bulbs did not burn long enough. Also, the other inventors could not explain how the light bulb could have any commercial value. In other words, the other inventors did not know how to make money from their inventions while Thomas Edison did. So he invented the first useful light bulb and turned it into a big business.
And it became his business sense that made so many of his inventions so useful to millions of people. Thomas Edison was more than an inventor. He was the founder of General Electric and many other major companies. He became a Multi-millioner and founder of a billion dollar corporation in spite that he was a dropped out of school because his teachers thought he was not smart enough to succeed in school.
As a dropped out, Thomas Edison took a job selling candies and magazines on the railroads as a young boy. There he developed his sales skills. Soon he began to print his own newspaper in the back of the train and then hired a team of boys to sell not only his candies but also his newspaper. While still a boy, he went from employee to business owner, employing a dozen other boys, in about a year. That is how Thomas Edison began his business career.
However, Thomas Edison soon bored of his business on the train and began learning how to send and receive Morse code so he could get a job as a telegraph operator. Soon, he became one of the best telegraph operators around and he traveled from city to city using his telegraph skills. It was what he learned from being a young entrepreneur and a telegraph operator that gave him the edge as a businessperson and an inventor of the light bulb.
Thomas Edison was more than an inventor. As a young boy, he became a business owner. That is why he became rich and famous. Rather than go to school, he was gaining the business skills required for success in the real world.
What made him famous relative to the light bulb was his past experience as a businessperson and a telegraph operator. Being a telegraph operator he knew that what made the inventor of the telegraph so successful was because it was a business system – a system of lines, poles, skilled people and relay stations. As a young man, Thomas Edison understood the power of a system.
Not like most people go to school to learn to be an employee of a system, so many fail to see the big picture. most only see the value of their job because that is all they are trained to see. So, they see the trees and not the forest. All they see are inventions or the products but not the system. Most people fail to see what really makes the rich, rich.
What made the light bulb powerful was not the light bulb but the system of electrical lines and relay stations that powered the light bulb and it made Thomas Edison rich and famous because he could see the big picture, while other people only saw the light bulb.