Nikola Tesla is undoubtedly one of the super geniuses of all time. His inventions have cut across various industries. For one, his streaks have led us to the use of radios, remote controls, lasers, electric motors, wireless communication, X-rays, and so much more. However, unlike the very few geniuses of our time, Tesla died broke and he didn’t get half the recognition he deserved until decades after he died. People J.P Morgan became billionaires because of him and he still died alone trying to prove a few points. A lot of his inventions are still attributed to other people. He filed more than 300 patents in his 86 years on earth, a lot of which were relevant, but why was his case different?
“I don’t care that they stole my idea … I care that they don’t have any of their own.”
His process showed a man that was determined to succeed. Having started off pursuing an education in engineering and physics in the 1870s, he got fascinated with the concept of electricity and in an attempt to pursue that, went from Austria where he was born to the United States in 1884, to work for Thomas Edison. However, as you would probably have heard, the two couldn’t stay friends for a long time as they had different opinions and practices. Of which the major one was Thomas Edison’s choice of Direct current energy over Nikola Tesla’s alternating energy. He eventually went ahead to push his own remarkable work. He even chose to stay single forever as he didn’t want to be distracted. Tesla had the right genius portfolio, with a little too much imagination and a possibly insane mind. Here are a few reasons why this genius was not like any other kind.
- He was far ahead of his time
Nikola Tesla was undoubtedly a visionary. Some of his inventions were so great that they were really hard to take in and really just seemed impossible. His imagination was extraordinary; just the thought of harnessing the power of Niagara falls, led him to the discovery of alternating current and the flexible form of electricity we now enjoy. He found a way to send electricity through mere air, and for all individuals to be able to use it affordably. However, while we can thank him for it now, it did seem pretty odd the first few years. While some of his work grew on the world to make sense, there are still a few that appear insane. Rumour has it that the US Government held some of his notes after his death, maybe to see if they could harness some of his genius; but news still remains that a lot of his ideas impossible and theoretical. Heard about the death ray? Crazy right?!
- He was a little too dogged in his ways
“I do not think you can name many great inventions that have been made by married men.” While Tesla might have been correct with this, he probably took it to new heights. He claimed to never have slept for more than two hours at a stretch, and as far as his love life was concerned, he once fell madly in love with a white pigeon. He also took great risks in trying to prove his point on some of his inventions. One of his greatest experiments was to remotely light up the sky over the North Pole to showcase this wireless power transmission technology. Just this experiment might have accidentally caused the Tungusta explosion (which is still regarded as the largest man-made explosion ever.) Needless to say, he was slightly insane and that was what led to him being known as the “Mad Scientist.”
- He wasn’t after wealth or fame (to his detriment)
A good number of people got famous, hanging on to his inventions and discoveries. Others and their generations to come became impeccably rich. Here’s how it happened: Even though Thomas Edison was the first to have a shot at creating electricity, his idea of the Direct current was too expensive and required a lot of it to work. Tesla’s idea was tons cheaper and was sustainable. That is what we enjoy today. In essence, if Tesla capitalized on that alone, he would have been one of the richest men in the history of the world. Edison, who was apparently losing, went ahead to publicly electrocute animals and spent on a lot on bad PR against Tesla. This took a toll on George Westinghouse financially who pleaded with Tesla to give him a few years off paying him royalties. Rather than pause, Tesla immediately tore up his contract. (The value of his patents to be $12 million in 1907 is equal to more than $300 million today.) Needless to say the amount of money he would have made from other inventions if he was a little bit of a capitalist. The only thing he really fought for was recognition for the invention of radio which was long given to Guglielmo Marconi. Most of the recognition he got was long after his death.
Tesla’s story proved a few things. For one, your imaginations can change the world, but they can also destroy it. While harnessing the power of your mind, there’s also a tendency that you lose it in the process. Sometimes, your creative power isn’t enough; don’t be afraid to accept the recognition and money that comes with it or you would have only yourself to blame is you die broke.