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Comparing and contrasting innovators Thomas Edison and Chad Hurley

Comparing and contrasting innovators Thomas Edison and Chad Hurley

One would say, “who cares about the past, lets live in the present” but if it wasn’t for the past were would we be now? There are inventions that have come to light, which we now take for granted. Many inventors have come up with marvelous inventions and innovations themselves but many have just falsely credited others work.

One of those is Thomas Edison, born Feb. 11, 1847 a successful inventor, scientist and businessman. [1]He accumulated about 1,093 patents that were mostly purchased from others and falsely credited (such as the light bulb). After inventing the motion picture camera and projector, [2]Thomas Edison formed his own movie production. Edison joined with nine other film companies attempting to control making, distribution, and showings of all movies in the U.S. He created a “The Trust” pledge to make only movies that would be of “American” value but not many agreed. [3]Edison’s Trust banned film credits for movie stars because it feared that actors gaining celebrity status would demand more money. He required producers and exhibitors to only use his patented equipment. The trust also stated that the members had to pay $2 a week to hold license to purchase and screen films. Edison, who was looking to profit from trust, was able to profit greatly off the weekly fee.

Things began to go down hill for Edison when Jewish immigrants used his inventions to screen and produce their own films all around the country. These filmmakers created movies that were far more entertaining than Edison’s “Monopoly.” Edison was so upset the Jews violated his patent he hired thugs to shut it down. They beat up directors and actors. Not only did they use those actions, they also forced audiences to leave theaters and set fire to entire city blocks where the Jews operated. Edison went to various extremes in attempt to keep the film industry under his pretenses, which almost kept Hollywood from emerging.

Of course with technology changing and developing over time so has the way we see and share film and video. Years after Edison’s patent was created came a brand new technology experience that has helped create a relationship between viewers and creators of the product uploaded on the Internet.
An innovator of today’s time would have to be Chad Hurley, born Jan. 24 1977. [4]He along with two others founded the world wide known, video-sharing website, YouTube.com. From its start in 2005 YouTube became one of the Internets “fastest-growing sites.” It was also ranked as 10th most popular website after its year launch. [5]Hurley’s work was growing and was being reproduced by billions of people around the world. He worked to give people an opportunity to participate in the video platform.

He had a smart and friendly strategy. He introduced to the world a website where people could upload their own videos, watch and share them for free. How was he getting paid? Well, after his first year as [6]YouTube’s CEO, Hurley and his companions sold YouTube to Google, Inc. for $1.65 billon in stock. That same year, Hurley was ranked as number 28 on “Business 2.0” magazine’s “50 People Who Matter” list.

Now can you see the difference between both innovators? Hurley, along with the other founders, was giving access to millions of people for free. Where as Edison was trying to get money from those who wanted to share and create a film. Yes, both had money in mind of course, but each one had a different way of reaching their goal. In my opinion, YouTube founder Chad Hurley did an amazing job both pleasing the crowed and getting the money he rightfully earned.

As for Edison, he was notorious for making poor business decisions. During his rein he was earning a fare amount of money that allowed him to live well off. Although in comparison, Chad Hurley is certainly making more money than Edison ever did. Why is this? One can argue that Hurley is more lucrative as an innovator because he is doing it with a smile on his face.





[1] http://www.businessinsider.com/thomas-edisons-inventions-2014-2?op=1


[3] http://www.history.com/news/the-renegade-roots-of-hollywood-studios

[4] http://www.biography.com/people/chad-hurley-201192

[5] http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/15228835.2012.746167

[6]  http://www.biography.com/people/chad-hurley-201192

About Jennifer Hernandez

Once Jennifer Hernandez graduates from Columbia College Chicago, her plans are to become a well-respected news or entertainment anchor, reporter or host. In Chicago she has interned for Univision News Station as well as Univision radio.

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