Morning Consult: Harnessing the Flash of Genius
This post originally appeared in Morning Consult on June 8, 2016.
Thomas Edison’s famed light bulb is the symbol of American invention – so much so that we use its image to symbolize discovery and inspiration. When an idea flashes, a “light bulb goes off.” But Edison didn’t manufacture his improved “electric lamp.” Instead, he transferred his patent for it to the General Electric Company – and went on inventing.
Throughout America’s history, innovators have been building the national economy without necessarily building a product. These inventors – at small and large businesses, universities and national research labs – create the feats of science and engineering that become the features in our products. They just don’t always create the products themselves.