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Breakdowns: The Path to Producing Breakthroughs

Shaping the future

Have you ever wondered what the early, great American inventors were like to be around? What possessed them to continue to persevere and endure? Or what it took to achieve victory in their fields of discovery and invention? Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford; each of them achieved something remarkable and broke through into a new paradigm in their own respective fields. Their inventions created new technology and generated entire pioneering industries. We call what each of these men did in their lives a BREAKTHROUGH.

Thomas Edison is, of course, remembered for the remarkable invention of the electric light bulb. Invariably, when the topic of Edison is raised, what predictably follows is the story about his 10,000 failed experiments, making the point that greatness takes a bit of patience. Edison had abounding patience and understood that great result required hard work. He has been widely quoted as once saying:

“Genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration.”

What he was referring to is that great accomplishments are not just a function of the conception of a great idea, but rather of dedicated perseverance and staying the course. In Edison’s case, one might say that he was fully aware that producing remarkable results takes substantial hard work, a bit of luck, and the ability to deal with setbacks effectively.

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