THIS IS THE LONG ANSWER TO THE ABOVE QUESTION:
THE FOLLOWING ARE EXERPS FROM POSTS THAT GOT ME MOTIVATED TO
PARTICIPATE IN THE S.U.N. (Start-up Nation) COMMUNITY IN THE FIRST
PLACE. UNDER THE ADVISEMENT OF RICH SLOAN WE FEEL THAT OTHERS
MAY BENEFIT FROM THE EXCHANGE OF POSTS & EMAILS THAT HAVE
TAKEN PLACE THESE LAST FEW DAYS, SO I`M POSTING THEM HERE. FEEL
FREE TO REQUEST CLARIFICATION SHOULD ANY OF IT SEEM CONFUSING-
IT TOOK A LOT OF CUT+PASTE TO ASSEMBLE.
THE FIRST PART IS FROM A THREAD RICH STARTED ASKING IF NIKOLA
TESLA AS PORTRAYED IN THE MOVIE "THE PRESTIGE" WAS IN FACT A REAL
PERSON, AND CRAIG L. HAD THIS TO SAY:
"Without Tesla we wouldn`t have the technological society of today. He
invented the generator for A/C (alternating current), and was at the center
of the most basic decision about how to electrify America. Edison
proposed wiring the country for D/C (direct current), but couldn`t send
high power across the distances that A/C could accomplish.
Nikola Tesla began his US career working for Edison, then quit over a
difference of process. Tesla had a mind such that when he had an idea,
he literally saw that idea in such detail, he didn`t need to make more than
a single prototype. And it worked, right there.
Edison invented the "research group" concept. He hired many inventors
and scientists and engineers, then basically put them next to a pile of
"stuff." They played with things in trial-and-error ways until someone
came up with something almost by accident, and it worked. Then Edison
patented it and sold it. Prior, Edison did the same with his attempts to
find a filament for the incandescent bulb. He too tried anything,
eventually ending up with carbon. Tesla thought that was a ridiculous way
to run an inventing business.
Up until around 1930, the US Census had a labor category for "Inventor."
Around `39-`40, Edison`s research center idea had so taken over that
most "inventors" couldn`t afford to work alone, and joined corporations.
And so the professional "inventor" fell away. Today`s entrepreneurs are
the re-defined inventors that have always been there, and it won`t be long
before we once again see a category something like "microbusiness
Tesla contracted with Col. Westinghouse, who backed his idea for an
alternating current generator, then helped finance the first major power
plant at Niagra Falls. Tesla wanted to donate the knowledge, but
Westinghouse demanded Tesla take a royalty of about $1 (late 1800s
dollars) per megawatt. If Tesla hadn`t relinquished those royalties, he`d
have died with a net worth in the hundreds of millions (today, billions),
rather than dying nearly penniless.
Westinghouse came up against J.P. Morgan and Edison (General Electric)
and was about to go bankrupt. Tesla came to his rescue, handing him
over those royalties. At the time, Tesla was busy inventing wireless radio,
television, and a way to beam power directly across the atmosphere.
Westinghouse remained in business.
Eventually, Tesla spent all his time working on beamed power,
capitalized with VC from JP Morgan, and didn`t pay much attention when
an intern of his, Marconi, took his ideas and developed what we now
know as radio. It wasn`t until about 10-20 years ago (I think), that Tesla
was finally given recognition as the inventor, and the patents to Marconi
Beyond his work with A/C, sparkplugs, radio, television, remote control,
and a rudimentary beamed-power weapon, Tesla was fascinated with
lightning and electricity in general. He held that the Earth, rotating within
the center of a magnetic field, was essentially a huge electrical generator.
To that end, he demonstrated to Morgan, a way to draw power from the
air, using a small antennae.
My own opinion is that when JP Morgan realized people could power
anything for free, he nixed the idea, calling in a large investment loan,
and mostly bankrupting Tesla.
Legend has it that the catastrophic Siberian explosion in 1908 was a
beamed-power experiment Tesla conducted from his lab in Colorado, in
conjunction with the US Military. (A more fitting hypothesis is that it was a
direct hit by a meteor.) But a true story is that Tesla also worked with
resonation and vibrational harmonics.
He had a small pendulum type device, like a small box, and attached it
to a girder in his lab in NYC. He set it working, then forgot about it. Not
long afterwards, people felt the initial symptoms of an earthquake, with
windows shaking, the ground vibrating, and cracks appearing in the
neighborhood. Tracking it down, the authorities found the device in
Tesla`s lab and told him to quit doing that...he could poke someone`s eye
Tesla is the unheralded genius of the American technological revolution
that took place between 1875-1930. It`s only a shame so few people have
heard of him, although he`s well-known outside the traditional circles of
typical high-school educational systems." -orig. post 10/28 by CraigL.
THIS GOT ME THINKING ABOUT MY OWN HISTORY & WHAT CHALLENGES
IT HAS WROUGHT ME, SO AFTER POSTING MY PITCH TO THE COMMUNITY,
I SENT THIS TO RICH SLOAN:
I want to thank you & your brother for starting such a great resource for
those of us who feel we`ve exhausted our options. The story CraigL. told
you about Nikola Tesla was so refreshing, I had forgotten all that he went
through & I now find myself able to relate to his frustrations more than I
thought possible 20 years ago. I often see solutions to problems that
seem common sense to me and work first time out of the box, yet I find
great difficulty selling those ideas to those "less enlightened".
My Question: Is it too late for me to compete for the elevator pitch? One
of the members responding to my Forum Thread suggested I participate
in the contest but I`m having no luck finding the rules for getting
My pitch is pretty concise if I can find the right person to "throw it" at.
The long version is under "COMMERCIALIZING YOUR INVENTION" Apptly
titled: "End of My Rope".
As always I`m open to any advice you might have, thanks for your time.
RICH PROMPTLY REPLIED WITH THIS TO SAY:
I have a feeling this contest is booked BUT we will do another one in the
near future and that`s a perfect opportunity for you. I will make sure that
Alison, our radio producer, contacts you.
Thanks so much for the feedback, by the way. Have you seen the movie
"The Prestige" yet? David Bowie plays the part of Tesla.
HAVING BEEN RE-ENERGIZED BY THIS RESPONSE TO MY LETTER, I
ANSWERED WITH THIS SLICE OF LIFE STORY:
I have yet to see The Prestige but I have seen a few good documentries
on his life & how Edison stole some key ideas he had. It`s amazing how
much power there is in money, never mind the atmosphere. A friend of
mine in high school had a Tesla Coil that his father had from the fifties.
He let me borrow it for my science project & it was the talk of the class. It
would make a 2-3 inch long bolt of electricity that looked like something
from a Frankenstein movie- very cool!
I read about you guys in a Costco magazine a few weeks ago and was
glad to know I`m not alone in wanting to fix what`s not working in the
world today. If my invention becomes the success it should be, then my
mission will be to eliminate economic strife in this country by creating
jobs in every facet of industry, raising the standard of living by paying
people what their worth and manufacturing the highest quality products
at competitive prices- if people were paid more they`d spend more- if
we`re the ones making the goods, the money they spend is on the
products we (the people) make. Magic formula- one hand washing the
Too utopian? I think it beats what`s going on these days, don`t you?
Until you walk a MILE in another man`s Moccasins- You can never Know the man!!!