FROM EDISON'S CONCRETE PIANO:
Innovation is near-sighted.
It takes more than high-flying dreams and fancy explosions to get a man into the history books.
Inventions are like mutations; environment has a great deal to do with their success.
There are at least five dimensions in invention: the three dimensions of space, plus time, and money.
The more you try the more you fail.
Genius is not synonymous with perfection.
The yardstick you make will be the one used to measure you.
Success is defined by the successful.
Occasionally, what seems impossible really is impossible.
It is a gamble to venture outside your expertise; you might turn up trumps, but more likely turnips.
“Zillions of prototypes is normal.” DANNY HILLIS
To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
I haven't failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work.
Nearly every man who develops an idea works it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then he gets discouraged. That's not the place to become discouraged.
Restlessness is discontent and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.
Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.
When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.
Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right.
If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person's point of view and see things from that person's angle as well as from your own.
I cannot discover that anyone knows enough to say definitely what is and what is not possible.
Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.
One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his greatest surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn't.
Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.
There are no big problems, there are just a lot of little problems.
Even a mistake may turn out to be the one thing necessary to a worthwhile achievement.
Man knows so much and does so little.
Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them.
I just invent, then wait until man comes around to needing what I’ve invented.
There is no such thing as a failed experiment, only experiments with unexpected outcomes.
Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons.
Spaceship Earth: The problem for the passengers is that there is no manual to identify all the parts, and no instructions on how to operate the spaceship.
Most of my advances were by mistake. You uncover what is when you get rid of what isn't.
Integrity is the essence of everything successful.
How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else.
If you want to succeed in the world, you don't have to be much cleverer than other people. You just have to be one day earlier.
If one knows only what one is told, one does not know enough to be able to arrive at a well-balanced decision.
Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine.
Do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.
The practical success of an idea, irrespective of its inherent merit, is dependent on the attitude of the contemporaries.
The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.
Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality.
LEONARDO DA VINCI:
There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.
There shall be wings! If the accomplishment be not for me, 'tis for some other.
While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.
The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.
He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind.
A lie can run around the world before the truth can get its boots on.
If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative. Woody Allen
Where a new invention promises to be useful, it ought to be tried. Thomas Jefferson
If necessity is the mother of invention, discontent is the father of progress. David Rockefeller
Computers have enabled people to make more mistakes faster than almost any invention in history, with the possible exception of tequila and hand guns. Mitch Radcliffe
There have been three great inventions since the beginning of time: fire, the wheel, and central banking. Will Rogers
A real failure does not need an excuse. It is an end in itself. Gertrude Stein
Every failure teaches a man something, to wit, that he will probably fail again next time. H.L. Mencken
The most successful people are those who are good at Plan B. James Yorke
Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne'er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need. Emily Dickinson
Success is a consequence and must not be a goal. Gustave Flaubert
Success is dangerous. One begins to copy oneself, and to copy oneself is more dangerous than to copy others. It leads to sterility. Pablo Picasso
Success is a great deodorant. It takes away all your past smells. Elizabeth Taylor
Failure or success seem to have been allotted to men by their stars. But they retain the power of wriggling, of fighting with their star or against it, and in the whole universe the only really interesting movement is this wriggle. E.M. Forster