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Thomas Edison is explaining his approach to invention and his motivations. He suggests he first identifies necessary or desired inventions by considering what problems exist in the world that need solving. Once he determines a need, he works to invent something to address it. However, his primary goal in doing so is not just to create inventions for their own sake, but rather “to make money” through their commercial success.
Edison acknowledges his main purpose is to earn enough financial profit from his inventions that he can continually fund the research and development costs of inventing new things. His comments portray a pragmatic philosophy of addressing real-world needs through invention, but doing so in a financially sustainable way through monetization of his ideas.