Business: The Sad State of Innovation

New ideas are stifled by red tape and corporate timidity

Candles and kerosene lamps flickered that Sunday night as the lab assistant connected two wires leading from the bottom of a glass bulb to a set of storage batteries. The piece of carbonized cotton sewing thread inside the bulb suddenly lighted up. In dozens of earlier experiments, the filament had blazed a few minutes before breaking, but this time it continued to glow. Forty hours later the bulb was still alight, and Thomas Alva Edison boasted to his staff: "If it will burn that...

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