Thomas Edison once said that most innovations are 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration. How does this match technology life cycles?

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gsenviro | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Edison's statement that most innovations are 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration still holds true in today's time. In the simplest terms, it means that novelty plays a much smaller part in the success of a product as compared to the hard work involved in creating it.

Technology life cycles consist of four integral phases (research and development, ascent, maturity, and decline phases); R & D takes much less time as compared to other phases. This is especially true for some of the major success stories of recent times, including Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, etc. All these had some novel aspect to them (but were not the first ones of their kind; Yahoo, MySpace, etc. were already there), so some hard work went into developing these concepts. However, their success is mainly due to the hard work involved in marketing, sustaining the growth rate, gathering funding, and management aspects. It's true that over time they have evolved from their original design; however, that involved much less effort than the day-to-day functioning of these success stories. The inspiration and novelty aspect is involved in prolonging the life cycle or vital life of these products/services. But the management of these businesses takes up much more of their proprietors' time and energy.

Hence, I believe that Edison's statement still holds true.