In 2013 the president of Serbia came to Long Island to help unveil a new monument to Nikola Tesla, a man who features prominently in our story about Edison and Westinghouse. President Nikolic told the crowd that Tesla was a man whose “ideas were larger than his time.”
Edison vs. Westinghouse
An Epic Struggle for Power
Edison vs.Westinghouse is the story of two great inventors and entrepreneurs whose personalities could not have been more different, and whose legacies could not be more distorted. Edison was not the gentle genius that we revere today, while George Westinghouse, a guy who most people know nothing about, was the father of the alternating current system used most widely today. He was also, not incidentally, a decent and truth-seeking man. The story of these men, along with Nikola Tesla as a supporting character, provides great lessons in business, primary among them that building a better mousetrap and leaving the public glory to others is the most sure-fire way to success. This story also reflects one of the themes that runs throughout the book: that history can easily skew the truth so profoundly that it becomes accepted fact to future generations.
This interesting post on the Smithsonian Magazine blog compares the relatively tame rivalry of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates to the bare knuckled battle that broke out between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse in the late 19th century.