The Real Nature of Thomas Edison’s Genius

Its called “combinatorial-creativity”.

Edison did not actually invent the light bulb, of course. People had been making wires incandesce since 1761, and plenty of other inventors had demonstrated and even patented various versions of incandescent lights by 1878, when Edison turned his attention to the problem of illumination. Edison’s gift, here and elsewhere, was not so much inventing as what he called perfecting—finding ways to make things better or cheaper or both. Edison did not look for problems in need of solutions; he looked for solutions in need of modification.

via The Real Nature of Thomas Edison’s Genius | The New Yorker