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This chapter is from the book

1.4 Collective Dreams

We all dream and some of us even hallucinate. Dreams are a part of many inventions. If we think of technology, then Thomas A. Edison often comes to mind. He was an “inventor” and entrepreneur who brought electric lights into homes and founded electric generation companies that still bear his name, even General Electric (GE) was founded by Edison. However, the story of electricity would not be complete without acknowledging Nikola Tesla who many say was the first to develop alternating current (among many other numerous breakthrough inventions) while Edison’s team focused on direct current.

As with all breakthrough inventions, many people are involved. For example, there were 22 others ahead of Edison in inventing the light bulb, but it was Edison who knew the power of marketing and branding. That is, pioneers in an industry like Tesla are often not the ones who win the prize or the wealth and acclaim, but those who came after them and understood how to develop a business model to exploit that invention. Success is not always about being first, or as some say, one gets “shot by other pioneers coming up behind you.” Part of the task of any entrepreneur is to get those on their teams to have similar dreams, if not buy into the one of the founder(s).

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