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Exactly How Many Times Did Edison Fail

Statistics are great fun, especially when they seem to support an argument that you're trying to make.Countless motivational speakers and success coaches have pointed to one of the greatest of America's failures, Thomas Edison, for inspiration.To prove the value of persistence, they have retold the story about how this luminary, the guy responsible for the modern light bulb, for the electric utility company, and for innumerable inventions, actually failed lots and lots of times before perfecting his innovations.Just this evening, I was watching the movie, "National Treasure," when Nicholas Cage's character started lecturing about how Edison failed to perfect the incandescent light bulb "2,000 times.".Something in me snapped.

Perhaps I've heard and even recited this legend too many times because my B.S. alarm went off. Maybe, I think Cage is one of the least intelligent actors around and I doubt him completely when he tries to play a smart character.

"How many times did Cage say?" I found myself asking. "2,000?".That's not how I heard it.

Anyway, I decided to Google the question, and you can too.It's fun, because you'll find lots of variations.Within five minutes, I discovered that Edison failed exactly:."Thousands of times."."1,000 times.

"."3,000 times"."5,000 times"."2,998 times"."6,000 times" and."6,635 times.

".And I stopped right there, knowing I was going to find, in all probability 100 more permutations.One smart source, who was discussing writing and rejection, simply said Edison failed a lot and urged her readers to "Look it up for yourself!".Maybe, she discovered what I did, that there are a zillion misleading stats out there.And this brings me to my point.Don't believe people when they throw one of these supposed "facts" at you.

Put their feet to the fire, and make them back up these blustery assertions.By the way, the next stat I'm going to track down is the one that says "It costs five times more to get a new customer than to keep an existing one happy and on the books.".Already, I've heard two or three versions of this whopper, so stay tuned for more!.

.Dr. Gary S. Goodman, President of Customersatisfaction.

com, is a popular keynote speaker, management consultant, and seminar leader and the best-selling author of 12 books, including Reach Out & Sell Someone and Monitoring, Measuring & Managing Customer Service, and the audio program, "The Law of Large Numbers: How To Make Success Inevitable," published by Nightingale-Conant. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, worldwide. A Ph.D. from USC's Annenberg School, a Loyola lawyer, and an MBA from the Peter F.

Drucker School at Claremont Graduate University, Gary offers programs through UCLA Extension and numerous universities, trade associations, and other organizations from Santa Monica to South Africa. He holds the rank of Shodan, 1st Degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate. He is headquartered in Glendale, California, and he can be reached at (818) 243-7338 or at: gary@customersatisfaction.

com.For information about coaching, consulting, training, books, videos and audios, please go to: http://www.customersatisfaction.


By: Dr. Gary S. Goodman

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