The Thomas Edison Strategy

In business, demand is invariably more important than supply. If demand doesn’t exist, supply is irrelevant. If demand exists, supply will eventuate.

I happened upon a quote from one of the greatest inventors / entrepreneurs in history Thomas Edison. Despite the simplicity of the idea, it’s very profound.

“I find out what the world needs, and then I proceed to invent it.”

This is some pretty good advice for any entrepreneur. It’s better to make what you can sell, than try to sell what you can make.



  1. Donnie · February 8, 2010

    The man was a genius. What more can be said?

    Building the better mousetrap won’t necessarily make the world beat down your door. They already have effective and inexpensive mousetraps.

    But, if someone invents (or brings to market) something to meet a need that isn’t being addressed yet, you have a real winner.

    Nice post. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Toby Marshall · February 8, 2010

    Absolutely Steve. Test the marketing, see if anyone is intrerested, then finish off the product or service and tailor it to their needs.

    Dan Kennedy gives this advice and he is so right. Yet to see an entrepreneur do it, except those in Dan’s or Mal Emery’s mentoring groups. But even half of those don’t!


  3. Donna Guthrie · February 8, 2010

    Celebrate Thomas Edison’s Birthday with a visit to his “invention factory” in West Orange NJ.

    MEET ME AT THE CORNER, Virtual Field Trips for Kids (
    is a series of free educational video pod casts is directed at kids ages 7-12. Each three-minute episode includes links to fun websites, a list of recommended books and a Learning Corner of questions and extended activities about the topic.

    On February 1, there’s a show about Thomas Edison filmed at the new Thomas Edison Museum in West Orange New Jersey. And later in February, there is an episode on how to prepare for your school science fair

  4. Andre Sammartino · February 8, 2010

    Fantastic in theory – but don’t most inventors presume there is a market for the new mousetrap, lightbulb etc?

    As an aside, was Edison responsible for the notion of ‘bright’ new ideas being signalled by a lightbulb?

    As a further aside, strident critics of Edison’s unscrupulous patenting actions might argue that he was principally concerned with illegally acquiring solutions to market problems rather than inventing them :) (sort of a 19th century Microsoft?)

  5. mauthor · February 8, 2010

    That’s true and such inventions would be easier to sell to people but i still believe that unique twist to an old idea or a completely new idea not demanded by the public could also be good . Seeing things differently and providing it to the mass, although hard to sell at first, might bring even greater reward.

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