From Publishers Weekly
McCormick, a management professor at Baylor University and author of Ben Franklin's 12 Rules of Management, is obviously enchanted with Edison and believes the inventor's talents haven't been fully recognized. In addition to patenting over 1,000 inventions, Edison was a capable businessman who recognized that innovation is a business, emphasizing the importance of creating a company that produces more than just one good idea. According to McCormick, Edison never invented simply to create a new thing, but rather focused on crafting something that would have a practical use. Edison also believed that one invention often led to a series of inventions, citing the link between the phonograph, telegraph and motion picture. Among the key lessons readers can learn from Edison are "limit your way to greater creativity" (Edison felt his deafness helped his creativity) and "the greatest innovators have made a lot of F's" (failure is essential to inventions). McCormick includes the inventor's own words as well as success stories about others who, like Edison, have achieved success through untraditional methods (including one of this season's top success stories, General Electric CEO Jack Welch). This book will appeal to those curious about Edison as well as anyone seeking tips on achieving entrepreneurial success. The writing is clear and rife with rarely discussed details that offer a new perspective on the achievements of a great American inventor.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
McCormick (management, Baylor Univ.; Ben Franklin's 12 Rules of Management) presents an absorbing summary of the major lessons to be learned from Thomas Alva Edison, effectively capturing the spirit of the man Peter Drucker called the "archetype for every high-tech entrepreneur." The ten lessons include how to attract and retain the best talent, build an "invention factory," learn from failure, and recognize play as the heart of innovation. McCormick explains well-known myths about Edison (e.g., he invented a better, cheaper light bulb and held better press conferences announcing his discovery) and offers numerous sidebars that showcase his most creative solutions to problems. Interviews with Edison drawn from contemporary publications further clarify the value of his work in today's "post-corporate world." While this work does not replace the solid, full-scale biographies by Paul Israel (Edison, LJ 10/15/98) and Neil Baldwin (Edison: Inventing the Century, LJ 1/95), it offers astute application of Edison's accomplishments for today's business executives. Highly recommended. Dale Farris, Groves, TX
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.