Develop the power to recognise and then educate others to the value of an idea.

Thomas Alva Edison's 9th Invention Secret To Generate Million Dollar Ideas

Thomas Edison's Top Ten Invention Strategies: 1--2--3--4--5--6--7--8--9--10

Thomas Edison's Secret # 9 - Educate others to the value of your idea

9. Develop the power to recognise and then educate others to the value of an idea.
Yes, Edison was an incredible inventor, thinker and organiser, but he could also sell what he made. True genius also involves being able to communicate the power and desirability of your idea so that others will want to buy it and use it. It takes time and effort to overcome the status quo. Many people have an inbuilt mistrust of anything new, particularly older people. That's why most new technology is pitched to young people - it's assumed that they are the only ones that will "get it" and want it. Once they get it and make it acceptable it opens up the market for everybody to use the thing.

It's very easy to get caught up in the jargon of your industry. When you try to explain your work using industry jargon to people who know nothing about it, watch as their eyes glaze over! You have to be able to translate across the divide and explain the value of your industry or products to people who have no knowledge or understanding of it.

This ability to communicate the value of an idea has to start with the inventor. The first person you have to sell on the value of an idea is yourself. You do this by identifying core needs, unfulfilled tasks, unperfected systems, and opportunities to make things better. When you can see something that isn't working as well as it could, you have the seed for inventive thought. The stimulation is, how can I improve this? What would be better than this? Why isn't that working as well as it should? Where is the problem?

You have to overcome your own inertia to be creative. We learn to see the world in a certain way and then never question it. We learn to do things one way and never take the time to think of the infinite additional ways we could do that thing. We accept the structures, existing machinery, traditional methods and systems as "the way it is".

Question things. Be alert to peoples' complaints. Every problem presents an opportunity to improve upon the status quo.

And when you get your genius idea and put it into action - CELEBRATE IT! Get excited by it, tell everyone you know about it (provided you have all the legal copyright and patents in place!). Edison was a showman. He knew that he had to get his name and his ideas in the media. He had to get his inventions in front of investors and the people he wanted to take up his inventions.

When you have something quite radical, that threatens an existing industry, you have to be prepared to overcome a lot of resistance. Put on a show and use "The Power of Outrageous Marketing" as marketing guru, Joe Vitale, describes in his best-selling audio program of the same name. Be flamboyant with your ideas. Life needs to be a continual process of being creative. It's not enough just to invent something, write a book or paint an outstanding piece of art. You have to maintain your creativity to sell your work on to others so that they use it, read it or appreciate it.

As author Charles Bazerman points out in his book, “The Languages of Edison’s Light”, the master inventor was also by necessity a master manipulator of the press. He forged mighty connections in the financial world. Learned to navigate the tangled world of the patent system. Formulated marketing strategies to generate public demand for electricity. He moved adroitly in the political world. Engineered amazing public relations stunts of his inventions and did everything necessary to make his inventions must-have commodities.

Communication. Learn everything you can about how to communicate to yourself and others. That's the oil that runs your brain and the brains of others. The more ways you can learn to communicate the better!

NEXT: Thomas Edison Creative Invention Secret 10: Hunt With The Pack



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