Thomas Edison’s Itemized Bill

There’s a famous story of one of Thomas Edison’s clients who had purchased a very expensive machine that Edison had invented. The machine had broken and Edison was called to make the repair.

It’s said that Edison looked around the machine, hit it a few times with a hammer and this fixed the machine.

The client was then outraged to receive a $1,000 bill – he demanded Edison itemize the invoice. Edison itemized it like so:

Hammering: $1.00
Knowing Where to Hammer: $999.00
TOTAL: $1,000.00

This is why we pay for expertise and skill. We pay for people who “know where to hammer”.

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