Entrepreneurs role in society is Not Innovation, but taking promising innovation to market.
Great entrepreneurs start their business venture with phrases like “I want to bring this innovation to market”, or “I’m looking for innovation that could solve this pain/problem”.
Li invention was dormant inside a Dow Jones subsidiary company called IDD. In 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin brought that innovation to market, and the rest is history.
Only, two years later Robin Li will recognize the potential of his invention, and created Baidu, the most popular search engine in China with 80% market share. Eventually, like the Google founders, Li is now a billionaire, ranked as the second richest man in China with a net worth of $10.2 billion.
Another great entrepreneur is Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart. Sam Walton didn’t invent the supermarket. His vision was to make supermarket a place for everyone. As Maverick Roy H. William wrote, Sam Walton was just another Henri Ford with a different haircut.
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak didn’t invent the personal computer. Their vision was to bring the personal computer to the rest of us. Microsoft didn’t invent MS-DOS or the personal computer. Bill Gates’s vision was to put “a computer on every desk and in every home.”
Once you’ve fully understood the fundamental difference between innovation and entrepreneurship, your chance of success increases dramatically. Big companies separate R&D (Research & Development) from operations (commercialization) for that same reason.
Innovation is a very risky business. Most of it is sponsored or subsidized by governments’ funds, universities, VCs and big corporations. Commercialization is what companies are primary created for.
The best entrepreneurs seek innovation to introduce to market, and live from making profit. Innovators seek to discover new technologies and solutions, and live from patenting and licensing. Two different mindsets and two different business models.
Mawuna Koutonin is a world peace activist who relentlessly works to empower people to express their full potential and pursue their dreams, regardless of their background. He is the Editior of SiliconAfrica.com, Founder of Goodbuzz.net, and Social activist for Africa Renaissance. Koutonin’s ultimate dream is to open a world-class human potential development school in Africa in 2017. If you are interested in learning more about this venture or Koutonin’s other projects, you can reach him directly by emailing at email@example.com.