I was watching an old biography of Thomas Edison on TCM channel. It was fascinating to watch him just travel to a big city (New York), and talk his way into a good job. Of course, it also helped that he repaired an early stock ticker (or “indicator’ as it was called). That set me to thinking, how would someone like that do in this day and age.
Of course, a modern analogue might be Steven Jobs. Tinkerer, inventor, highly driven. A young Tom Edison might hitchhike out to Sunnyvale, California, and talk his way into some company or other. I have no doubt he would get himself hired, and then rapidly move up. At least if the tales of the past are any indication.
He might observe someone writing a C++ program, and suggest a better algorithm. Or at the very least, suggest a more efficient way of burning in new EEPROMS. Whatever, the driven young man would establish himself, and prove his worth by working long hours, doing whatever it takes to get to a good result. He would probably be well on his way to a Billion in net worth by age 30.
The commonalities between the 1870’s and the present day are multiple. Willingness to put in long hours. Willingness to call on a high manager, and not take no for an answer. Willingness to offer someone a solution to their problem, and then work night and day to make it a reality. 99 percent perspiration and one percent inspiration, and both are crucial. A man like Edison can create a lot of careers underneath all of his efforts. Here is hoping someone like him will stop in Des Moines someday, and hang his hat up here for good. That old movie about him even inspired me to write about it. Thanks for reading.