Don't give up. In one famous incident an associate found Thomas Edison at his lab bench surrounded by a sea of storage battery test cells. 9,000 experiments had been carried out with no promising developments. His associate offered condolence: "Isn't it a shame that with the tremendous amount of work you have done, you haven't been able to get any results?" "Results!" Edison replied, "Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won't work!" For a major invention like the light bulb, this is what's involved. Even minor inventions seem to take more time than imagined to get to the prototype stage. When you sell your company for millions, you can laugh about all those endless experiments and false directions.
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Larry Kilham is a Sloan School of Management graduate from MIT, received three patents, and has founded two high-tech companies. Many of his product designs required innovative use of computers, and as early as the 1960s he was researching artificial intelligence (AI).