Innovation and entrepreneurship are the two sides of a coin. Entrepreneurship is an innovative way to run a business or venture. As Peter Drucker in his book ‘Management – Task, Responsibilities and Practices” has pointed out, the two are the primary functions of every business. “Entrepreneurs innovate. They exploit change as an opportunity for a different business or a different service by innovation”. Innovation without marketing of a product, its commercialization, or useful adaptation is just an invention. Still, when an idea is taken to the market and becomes a valuable product, then it becomes an enterprising innovation.
The trick is in presenting something in a new way with added value. Starbucks entered an already crowded market of coffee shops, but its distinctiveness was in wrapping the product in myriad different ways and offering an experience. When we think of fast food, we think of MacDonald’s because they took the simple ham and patty sandwich and turned it into a hamburger that got associated with a meal on the run. ( Though we feel Coca Cola should take some credit for its popularity). For a myriad of teens, a coke and burger are a necessary part of growing years.
Innovation does not mean any kind of brilliant technical innovation, it is just the application and the taking forward of an idea into a gainful business.
Innovation is the process of turning ideas into manufacturable and marketable form. – Watts Humprey
Entrepreneurs innovate. They work hard to carry the business forward through new ways, applications, filling a gap in service, and such.
Innovators are entrepreneurs who anticipate the market changes, customer needs and try to fill that need with a service and product.
Knowledge and skillset
It is necessary to acquire information and knowledge of the journey you intend to take. From a formal education to gaining experience in the market, building networks and exchanging and imbibing of knowledge, all is useful.
Finding the solution
Innovation is just an idea, a slight change in the process that is already there, or it actually can be a new invention. But for that idea to find fruition, it needs a solution. The application of that solution is when enterprise and innovation come together.
So for the idea to work, one needs to ask the right questions and to define the problem and then go about solving its.
Innovation and adaption
Innovation, by itself, means change. When a business needs some infusion of ideas for betterment, then adapt to the change. Bring in the innovative ideas, even if it means taking a 180-degree turn.
Xerox machines came into being and became popular because the people at the helm were ready to take risks and change their business model. They were not finding any takers for their copy machines as it was deemed expensive; they then decided to lease the machines rather than sell them. The brand became so popular that now it has become a verb.
The present crowdsourcing is a perfect example of innovation and enterprise going hand in hand. Small startups and people with business ideas always struggle to get approval for loans or get the attention of angel investors. Crowdsourcing platforms are the anwer. You can showcase your invention and ask for money to fund the venture and gain a certain number of captive customers too.
One needs to adapt and be flexible in finding solutions to problems.
For a business to be successful, you do not need to have an invention to sell; you just need to be better than your competition. Improving and innovating the product or service that you provide is undoubtedly one of the best - and most effective ways to do that.
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