Being Entrepreneurial Doesn’t Imply That You’re Innovative
How to be entrepreneurial AND innovative. I’m currently revamping my website here to address both of these aspects in work and life. There doesn’t seem to be a definition of entrepreneurship set in stone that everyone agrees on. You can see that by visiting the site devoted to answering the question, “How do you define entrepreneurship?”, there are many different definitions. The one definition I like is:
Being an entrepreneur means having the courage to tackle a problem in society, the creativity to find a solution, and the persistence to bring that solution into existence.
However, I don’t think entrepreneurship means that one has created the idea being pursued. One could be creative in finding existing solutions that haven’t been implemented and then doing so and making a success of it. I believe that being innovative is separate from being entrepreneurial.
Elon Musk: Innovative Mind Behind Tesla, PayPal, & Hyperloop
Elon Musk is an example of someone who is innovative in creating solutions and then entrepreneurial enough to make them a reality. According to Elite.com,
Elon Musk, is the real life “Tony Stark,” he is the man behind the electronic car known as Tesla, the man behind the ever so popular Paypal and the man behind what is currently the most talked about system of transportation: the Hyperloop. Long story short, not only is Elon Musk a legend, but he is also an innovator. He lives for disrupting industries and constantly innovating the world that we currently live in today.
The article goes on to explain that Elon Musk is an innovator in addition to being an entrepreneur:
The truth is, if your goal is to change the world, then you can’t simply throw money around — you have to be active in the actual design and execution of the innovation. When we’re talking about such industries as the Commercial Space Travel industry, the Clean Energy industry or even the Car industry, if you plan on bringing change to the way that things work, you’ll need to be more hands on than simply being the hand that hires the brains; you need to be the brains. Musk has 2 bachelor degrees. One in economics and the other in physics.
Steve Jobs: Innovative Mind Behind iPod + iTunes
Steve Jobs is another example of someone both entrepreneurial AND innovative. I haven’t read the Steve Jobs book by Walter Isaacson although I hear it’s excellent. Steve was the innovative mind behind iTunes and iPod. Before iTunes, you could buy an MP3 player, but you didn’t have access to a database of downloadable songs (a legal one at least) to sync with your player. Steve’s innovation of getting record labels to submit songs to an iTunes database combined with an appealing MP3 player added a lot of value to our lives. The whole setup was highly valuable, useful, and novel.
What appeals to me about having the skill of innovation is that it forces me to be very deeply connected and knowledgeable about whatever the thing is that I’m trying to make a reality. It also seems to me that being innovative would allow me to be more entrepreneurial. Without an innovative edge I could always copy another person’s ideas or run with the ideas that my partners have. But, by being creative in my own right, I believe I would be more likely to find ideas that fit with my passions, my strengths, and my resources. That seems to be the greatest benefit of being both entrepreneurial AND innovative. Getting our hands dirty in the creative end of things is something we could all benefit from if we’re trying to make an impact in the world.
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