Effective Innovation: The Development of Winning Technologies
Chester Carlson was born poor, yet he died wealthy. Innovation was the springboard that propelled him from poverty to riches.
As a boy, Chester Carlson lived in poverty in the San Bernardino Valley of California. Every day he rode his bicycle into San Bernardino to earn what money he could by doing odd jobs. This was virtually the only income his family had.
Carlson decided to work his way through college. In 1930, at the age of 24, he emerged from the California Institute of Technology with a B.S. degree in physics. Thirty-five years later, when he had given the college millions of dollars for a new laboratory, he said to his wife, “If I hadn't taken that course at Caltech, I'd never have been able to understand even the first principles of a copying machine.”