5 Life Lessons from History’s Great Inventors

These great innovators changed our world — and they can still inspire the tech entrepreneurs of today.

By the Dave Partners Team


We believe that the tech entrepreneurs we work with every day are the great inventors of tomorrow. They’re working to bring us the products and ideas that will revolutionize the future.

Of course, no-one understands an innovator like an innovator. Here are a few of our favorite motivational quotes from the great inventors of ages past, to keep you charged up and moving in the right direction as you build the future.

Thomas Edison: On Staying Hungry

Edison was an inventor and CEO, responsible for the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the long-lasting electric lightbulb.

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

The Wright Brothers: On Learning From Experience

The Wright Brothers, shown in the invention that made them famous: The first successful airplane

“Men become wise just as they become rich, more by what they save than by what they receive.” –Wilbur Wright.

Nikola Tesla: On Public Recognition

Tesla’s inventions were frequently disparaged and even stolen in his lifetime. Now, we recognize him as a genius.

“Let the future tell the truth and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine.”

Henry Ford: On Competition

Henry Ford’s development of the automobile and the assembly line made him the most successful businessman of his day.

“The competitor to be feared is the one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time.”

Leonardo Da Vinci: On Action

Da Vinci, the quintessential Renaissance man, foresaw helicopters, armored cars, and even scuba diving

“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things. I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.”


Is there a great inventor we missed? Let us know about your heroes by leaving a comment!


Dave Partners is a boutique headhunting firm exclusively for the top venture-backed technology companies. We find the top 1% of A+ talent for our clients. To learn more, contact us or visit us online.

This post originally appeared on the Dave Partners blog.

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