110 Thomas Edison Quotes to Inspire Innovation & Success

These Thomas Edison quotes will give you insightful knowledge on having the drive to fulfill your dreams.

Thomas Edison was a successful businessman and scientist. His most famous inventions include the phonograph, the movie camera and viewer, and the light bulb. Even years after his passing, his life and inventions no doubt continue to inspire millions worldwide.

Thomas Edison was the kind of person who never let failures discourage him from achieving his goals. We’re sure you’ll find more than a few valuable quotes to live by in this collection, so be sure you read through the whole list!

Let’s start here.

And don’t forget to check out these Albert Einstein quotes.

Best Thomas Edison Quotes

1. “Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.”

2. “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

3. “Never get discouraged if you fail. Learn from it. Keep trying.”

4. “There is no substitute for hard work.”

5. “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

6. “A genius is often merely a talented person who has done all of his or her homework.”

7. “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

8. “Fools call wise men fools. A wise man never calls any man a fool.”

9. “Not everything of value in life comes from books—experience the world.”

10. “Your worth consists in what you are and not in what you have.”

11. “Anything that won’t sell, I don’t want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success.”

12. “The world owes nothing to any man, but every man owes something to the world.”

13. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

14. “I start where the last man left off.”

Also read: Henry Ford Quotes

Famous Thomas Edison Quotes

15. “Learn with both your head and hands.”

16. “If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.”

17. “When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this—you haven’t.”

18. “Hard work, nothing to divert my thought, clear air and simple food made my life very pleasant.”

19. “Never stop learning. Read the entire panorama of literature.”

20. “Five percent of the people think. Ten percent of the people think they think and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.”

21. “When I have fully decided that a result is worth getting I go ahead of it and make trial after trial until it comes.”

22. “Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends, there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do so is not doing.”

23. “The man who doesn’t make up his mind to cultivate the habit of thinking misses the greatest pleasure in life.”

24. “Great ideas originate in the muscles.”

25. “There’s a way to do it better—find it.”

26. “Negative results are just what I want. They’re just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don’t.”

27. “The value of an idea lies in the using of it.”

28. “I find out what the world needs. Then I go ahead and try to invent it.”

29. “Hell, there are no rules here. We’re trying to accomplish something.”

Inspirational Thomas Edison Quotes

30. “There is far more opportunity than there is ability.”

31. “The thing I lose patience with the most is the clock. Its hands move too fast.”

32. “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”

33. “Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits.”

34. “The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are—hard work, stick-to-itiveness, and common sense.”

35. “Work while others are wishing.”

36. “I don’t live with the past. I am living for today and tomorrow.”

37. “What you are will show in what you do.”

38. “Vision without execution is hallucination.”

39. “Success is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration!”

40. “I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.”

41. “You can’t realize your dreams unless you have one, to begin with.”

42. “I’ve never made a mistake. I’ve only learned from experience.”

43. “What a man’s mind can create, a man’s character can control.”

44. “I readily absorb ideas from every source.”

Insightful Thomas Edison on His Beliefs

45. “I have friends in overalls whose friendship I would not swap for the favor of the kings of the world.”

46. “Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.”

47. “My main purpose in life is to make enough money to create ever more inventions. The dove is my emblem. I want to save and advance human life, not destroy it.”

48. “To my mind the old masters are not art. Their value is in their scarcity.”

49. “There is no expedient to which a man will not go to avoid the real labor of thinking.”

50. “I have more respect for the fellow with a single idea who gets there than for the fellow with a thousand ideas who does nothing.”

51. “The criticisms which have been hurled at me have not worried me.”

52. “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.”

53. “Maturity is often more absurd than youth and very frequently is most unjust to youth.”

54. “I know this world is ruled by infinite intelligence. Everything that surrounds us. Everything that exists proves that there are infinite laws behind it. There can be no denying this fact. It is mathematical in its precision.”

55. “Waste is worse than loss. The time is coming when every person who lays claim to ability will keep the question of waste before him constantly. The scope of thrift is limitless.”

56. “What I have denied and what my reason compels me to deny, is the existence of a being throned above us as a god, directing our mundane affairs in detail, regarding us as individuals, punishing us, rewarding us as human judges might.”

57. “Restlessness is discontent and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.”

58. “The best thinking has been done in solitude. The worst has been done in turmoil.”

59. “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.”

Great Thomas Edison Quotes to Motivate You to Do Your Best

60. “To have a great idea, have a lot of them.”

61. “Time is really the only capital that any human being has and the thing that he can least afford to waste or lose.”

62. “Be courageous. I have seen many depressions in business. Always America has emerged from these stronger and more prosperous. Be brave as your fathers before you. Have faith! Go forward!”

63. “I never view mistakes as failures. They are simply opportunities to find out what doesn’t work.”

64. “Failure is really a matter of conceit. People don’t work hard because, in their conceit, they imagine they’ll succeed without ever making an effort. Most people believe that they’ll wake up someday and find themselves rich. Actually, they’ve got it half right, because eventually, they do wake up.”

65. “The first requisite for success is the ability to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem incessantly without growing weary.”

66. “I am 67, but I’m not too old to make a fresh start.”

67. “We don’t know a millionth of 1% about anything.”

68. “Success is the result of hard work.”

69. “I am not discouraged because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.”

70. “I didn’t fail 1000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1000 steps.”

71. “I owe my success to the fact that I never had a clock in my workroom.”

72. “A good idea is never lost. Even though its originator or possessor may die, it will someday be reborn in the mind of another.”

73. “We should remember that good fortune often happens when opportunity meets with preparation.”

74. “Two percent is genius and ninety-eight percent is hard work.”

Powerful Thomas Edison Quotes That’ll Move You to Act

75. “I am long on ideas, but short on time. I expect to live to be only about a hundred.”

76. “Nature is what we know. We do not know the gods of religions. And nature is not kind, or merciful, or loving. If God made me—the fabled God of the three qualities of which I spoke—mercy, kindness, love. He also made the fish I catch and eat. And where do His mercy, kindness, and love for that fish come in? No. Nature made us. Nature did it all—not the gods of the religions.”

77. “Destruction of false theories will not decrease the sum of human happiness in future, any more than it has in the past.”

78. “I am proud of the fact that I never invented weapons to kill.”

79. “Education isn’t play and it can’t be made to look like play. It is hard, hard work. But it can be made interesting work.”

Thomas Edison Quotes About His Inventions

80. “Of all my inventions, I liked the phonograph best. Life’s most soothing things are sweet music and a child’s goodnight.”

81. “In creating technology for ourselves we created it for the world.”

82. “Most inventors who have an idea never stop to think whether their invention will be saleable when they get it made. Unless a man has plenty of money to throw away, he will find that making inventions is about the costliest amusement he can find.”

83. “Personally, I enjoy working about 18 hours a day. Besides the short catnaps. I take each day, I average about four to five hours of sleep per night.”

84. “Focus on how the end-user customers perceive the impact of your innovation, rather than on how you, the innovators, perceive it.”

85. “I never pick up an item without thinking of how I might improve it.”

86. “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction.”

87. “Continued innovation is the best way to beat the competition.”

88. “A minor invention every 10 days, and a big one every six months or so.”

89. “I never did anything by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident. They came by work.”

Thomas Edison Quotes That Will Bring You Into the Depths of His Mind

90. “There will one day spring from the brain of science a machine or force so fearful in its potentialities, so absolutely terrifying, that even man, the fighter, who will dare torture and death in order to inflict torture and death, will be appalled, and so abandon war forever.”

91. “I do not believe in the God of the theologians, but that there is a supreme intelligence I do not doubt.”

92. “We shall have no better conditions in the future if we are satisfied with all those which we have at present.”

93. “The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will instruct his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet, and the cause and prevention of disease.”

94. “Religion is all bunk.”

95. “Study, along the lines which the theologies have mapped, will never lead us to the discovery of the fundamental facts of our existence. That goal must be attained by means of exact science and can only be achieved by such means.”

96. “One might think that the money value of an invention constitutes its reward to the man who loves his work. But, I continue to find my greatest pleasure, and so my reward, in the work that precedes what the world calls success.”

97. “We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy—sun, wind, and tide. I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”

98. “Life goes on endlessly, but no more in human beings than in other animals, or, for that matter, than in vegetables. Life, collectively, must be immortal, human beings, individually, cannot be, as I see it, for they are not the individuals, they are mere aggregates of cells.”

99. “There is no supernatural. We are continually learning new things. There are powers within us which have not yet been developed and they will develop. We shall learn things of ourselves, which will be full of wonders, but none of them will be beyond the natural.”

100. “The body is a community made up of its innumerable cells or inhabitants.”

101. “It is astonishing what an effort it seems to be for many people to put their brains definitely and systematically to work.”

102. “To do much clear thinking a person must arrange for regular periods of solitude when they can concentrate and indulge the imagination without distraction.”

103. “If parents pass enthusiasm along to their children, they will leave them an estate of incalculable value.”

104. “I believe that the science of chemistry alone almost proves the existence of an intelligent creator.”

More Thomas Edison Quotes You Will Love

105. “Our intelligence is the aggregate intelligence of the cells which make us up. There is no soul, distinct from mind, and what we speak of as the mind is just the aggregate intelligence of cells.”

106. “People are not remembered by how few times they fail, but by how often they succeed.”

107. “A man’s best friend is a good wife.”

108. “Tomorrow is my exam but I don’t care because a single sheet of paper can’t decide my future.”

109. “Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won’t work.”

110. “Until man duplicates a blade of grass, nature can laugh at his so-called scientific knowledge. Remedies from chemicals will never stand in favor compared with the products of nature, the living cell of the plant, the final result of the rays of the sun, the mother of all life.”

Did These Thomas Edison Quotes Inspire You to Pursue Your Greatest Dreams?

Thomas Edison was born on February 11, 1847, in Milan, Ohio. In school, he often daydreamed and was labeled as someone who was mentally challenged by his teachers.

But that’s far from the truth. In fact, he managed to get his name on some of America’s most important buildings, streets, and institutions. And now, most people credit him for being the pioneer of the modern industrialized world.

This collection features some of the best words of wisdom that we can learn from him. We hope this was able to teach you to not be discouraged when the things you want seem impossible to get. Remember, nothing is impossible if you just believe that you can get it.

Which of these Thomas Edison quotes are your favorites? Please, share them in the comments section below.

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Karen Danao

Hi, I’m Karen, a content curator and writer for Quote Ambition; I’m also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, I’m someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics I love writing about! However, my true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.

With the many places I’ve been to, I found that love, inspiration, and happiness are some things that bring people together. No matter how different we are on the outside, I’m a true believer that our emotions don’t lie; if you dig deep into our psyche, we’re all the same inside.

This belief was further amplified when I joined Quote Ambition. Through the quotes I’ve read, collected, organized, and written about, I found that humans are resilient, creative, and compassionate.

We take from each others’ hearts and courage, and it’s through our individual experiences that we learn how to rise above our challenges and pain. In so many ways, Quote Ambition is a platform that allows people from all over the world to gain the inspiration they need anytime, anywhere!

You can find me on MuckRack and LinkedIn.