The Geniuses Who Redefined the World

Our concept of innovation is quite limited. This word is associated with the latest iPhone and robots. But before these inventions came into being, their creators conceived ideas that were never thought of before. Some of them reconfigured existing beliefs.

These geniuses were not the kindest of people. Some of them were outright cruel. After all, they were only human. But their ideas changed the world.

We should celebrate these geniuses. Their innovation brought us out of the darkness of superstition to the light of knowledge. Let us know them better.

Join us on this trip of discovery. We will meet the notorious and the persecuted. Both are saints at the altar of science.

Galileo Galilei

We know him as the father of modern science. But in his lifetime, he was persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church. It was his unwavering defense of truth that brought humanity out of ignorance.

Galileo staunchly defended Copernicus’s heliocentric principle. This led to a fight between him and the Roman Catholic Church that believed in the geocentric model. He was eventually branded as a heretic and placed under house arrest.

He created his telescope. With this invention, he noted that the moon’s surface was not smooth. He also observed Jupiter’s largest moons. Galileo also asserted largely ignored facts that have become building blocks of modern physics.

The Catholic Church eventually acknowledged his contribution to science. Pope Pius XII praised Galileo in his speech to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

Jerome McCarthy

In the world of social media, we often focus on digital marketing. Some of us even make a killing by taking advantage of affiliate marketing. But these principles would not have been possible without E. Jerome McCarthy. He is the father of the marketing mix.

We cannot accurately pinpoint the origins of marketing. But it was brought about by an entrepreneur’s quest for profit. Archaeologists have uncovered several crude marketing strategies in Pompeii. The concept of product branding might also have been developed during this time.

Some experts theorized that the term marketing was coined during the Middle Ages. The word marketing might have been the process of selling produce and other merchandise in the market. On the other side of the world, the Chinese were already practicing modern-day packaging, branding, and advertising principles.

Others also made their mark on marketing. But there was no process. It was a mush-up of previous successful marketing strategies. E. Jerome McCarthy changed it all.

He developed the marketing mix. His innovation led to a more scientific approach to marketing. His 4Ps helped managers redesign their marketing strategy to better fit their organization.

Thomas Edison

We know Thomas Edison as the greatest American inventor. But we also see his cruel nature in History’s series, “The Innovators: The Men Who Made America”. Of course, the creators might have used artistic license to make the show popular. But how he dealt with competitors was just plain ruthless.

He was the youngest child of Samuel Edison Jr and Nancy Elliot. His mother homeschooled him. At a tender age, he started to experiment at home.

Edison did not immediately pursue a career in science. He originally sold candy and other merchandise on the trains. This little enterprise gave him a $50 profit per week. He used this money to buy materials for his experiments.

At the young age of 19, he joined Western Union. He asked to be placed in the graveyard shift so that he can read and experiment. One day, he experimented with a lead-acid battery and accidentally spilled acid on the floor. This incident led to his firing.

A few years later, Edison received his first patent. It was for his electric vote recorder. Unfortunately, this machine did not draw in crowds. The lackluster sales forced him to live with Franklin Pope, a fellow inventor.  They founded a company in 1869.

In 1876, he established Menlo Park. This industrial lab was made possible through his profit from making the quadruplex telegraph. It was in Menlo Park where he dabbled with direct current. He also met Nikola Tesla in Menlo Park.

During his time, the light bulb was expensive and would easily burn out. He redesigned the original model and was granted a patent for his light bulb.

Ideas are always evolving. Sometimes it would become a theory. Sometimes they would create laws that change society.

We should rejoice that science is always changing. But we should tip our hats to the geniuses that made this possible. Without these innovators, humanity would have remained in the dark.

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