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Innovators Are Better Than Inventors?

I recently picked up Finding An Angel Investor in a Day to see what kind of advice was in there and to get additional info on term sheets. I found the following breakdown very interesting: Three Types of Entrepreneur

I recently picked up Finding An Angel Investor in a Day to see what kind of advice was in there and to get additional info on term sheets.

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I found the following breakdown very interesting: Three Types of Entrepreneur

Inventors
They create a completely novel idea or invention. Such ideas or inventions are revolutionary. They’re often called “disruptive technologies” because they displace whatever came before. They include products such as the copying machine, the web browser and the cell phone.

Innovators
They take existing products, technology or ideas and change them or apply them to new uses. Bringing a product like Teflon, which was developed for industrial use, to the consumer market, is an example of an innovation.

Introducers

They take an existing product and find a new market for it. The new market can be geographic, such as taking a product developed in Asia and introducing it in the United States of America, or demographic, such as taking a product designed for businesses and introducing it to consumers.

It is much easier and cheaper to be an Innovator or Introducer than to be an Inventor. Inventors also seem to get the short end of the stick a number of times:

  • Computer mouse – Xerox (not Logitech)
  • DOS – IBM (not Microsoft)
  • Cellular phone – Motorola (who is hurting and wants to sell that part)
  • Portable music player – Sony (now Apple runs the show)
  • Commercial Word Processing software – WordPerfect (not Microsoft WORD)
  • Spreadsheet program – Lotus 1-2-3 (Not Microsoft Excel)
  • Personal computers – Altair (not Dell or HP)
  • Web Browser – Netscape (Not Internet Explorer)
  • Search Engine – ALIWEB (Not Yahoo)
  • Pay-per-click Advertising – Overture (Not Google)

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Even though there are plenty of examples where the inventor makes a fortune (Thomas Edison for example), the pattern is clear, especially in the latter half of the 20th century and now the 21st century

 

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About the author

I am a young entrepreneur who started my first company at 20 during my MBA program at the University of Miami. Our first project was the creation of RealVibes.net, later renamed Realvibez.tv, a leading online destination for Reggae, Dancehall and Soca videos, first launched in February 2002. I am the co-founder of Random Media, an integrated media and entertainment firm focused on Caribbean entertainment and culture, as well as co-founder of Kaizen Interactive, a digital marketing agency. Experience and Achievements - Secured deal for my venture (through the Realvibeztv channel) to become YouTube’s first Caribbean media partner - venture now part of YouTube’s new rental program - Random Media has signed distribution deals for e-book versions of a number of Caribbean books in the Amazon Kindle and Apple iBooks stores - Interviewed numerous times about using social networks for business, previously built up a Facebook fan page for Jamaica to over 55,000 fans in less than 2 years that is now being used by the Jamaica Tourist Board - Asked to endorse a book on entrepreneurship The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur alongside Donny Deutsch, Host of CNBC’s The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch - Contributed a chapter to a McGraw-Hill Publishing book, How To Make Money With YouTube - A judge for Business.com’s What Works For Business contest in 2009 I was born in Kingston, Jamaica, completed his B.Sc

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