Today is Thomas Edison’s birthday.
This year, I’ve seen very few mentions of Edison’s birthday online. Last year when it was Tesla’s birthday I saw all kinds of chatter. Maybe it’s just the people I follow, maybe because it’s on a Monday and people are still recovering from the weekend or maybe it’s because over the last few years geeks have been developing a serious hatred for Edison.
This is probably best exemplified by The Oatmeals pro-Tesla and anti-Edison rant.
It’s a widely document fact that Tesla was a better inventor than he was a business man and Edison was arguably a better business man than he was an inventor.
With all the anti-industrialist sentiment building out there and the lack of tolerance towards growth-above-all-else attitudes in business it’s easy to see why Edison is loosing ground in popularity among geeks.
But it makes me wonder what other great inventors and tech leaders wil be vilified 50 or 100 years from now. Will Steve Jobs still be the icon he is when people focus more on his bad attributes than his good? Will Bill Gates be forgiven his anti-competitive faults is he rids the world of polio and malaria? Will Marc Andreessen be remembered for being the founder of Netscape or being a VC? Will Elon Musk… never mind, Elon is untouchable.
What do you think?