A little prologue, before we get into the meat of this article: on a whim, I went on a Google search, searching for the terms “innovation” and “entrepreneurship”. Of course, those two words on their lonesome won’t dig up interesting website hits – mostly definitions of the terms, maybe some lucky guy who snatched up one of those words as a domain name – but an interesting thing popped up when I googled the two terms together.
About 38,300,000 results and 0.20 seconds later, I’m greeted with the following websites: “Entrepreneurship Courses – Berkeley.Edu?”, “Innovation Entrepreneurship – Ideas Can Save the World?”, as well as an alarmingly large amount of business schools offering entrepreneurship and innovation in its courses. Take this blurb, for example, posted on MIT’s website: “The Entrepreneurship & Innovation Track within the MIT Sloan MBA program, designed for MBA students who have a strong commitment to entrepreneurship, focuses on launching and developing emerging technology companies.” Or how about this little introduction to the Warring College of Business Administration’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation: “The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) was created to teach, coach and inspire students to be entrepreneurial in their lives.”
The first two pages are variations of all of these – business schools offering entrepreneurial subjects, with heavy emphasis on innovation. I could go on and on, droning about the websites I’ve come across, but by now you’re getting the point – there’s a definite correlation between entrepreneurship and innovation.
Another digression, before we get to the main point of this essay, is that entrepreneurs are builders of the country’s economy. Entrepreneurship, in fact, is defined as the process of starting up a new business that feats on opportunities surrounding them – in other words, the entrepreneur’s job is to innovate: to seek new possibilities within the saturated world of business.
If it seems like we’re laying it on a little too complicated, it’s because it cannot be stressed enough: innovation and entrepreneurship go hand in hand – the very concept of entrepreneurship is embedded with the need to innovate, the need to find better ways to do something.
The goal of any business, of course, is to supply any demand – to fulfil the market’s needs, to provide solutions through products and services to consumers, who in return provide something of value. The backbone of any economy is reliant on this interaction, so it’s fair to say that businesses, in order to thrive, must be seen as supplying an important demand.
But it’s also a fact that you’re definitely not the only one rushing out to the market to provide a burning need like everybody in the world does. In fact, the entrepreneur looking to start up a new business is at a disadvantage – he’s up against older, established companies and a consumer base that’s grown used to the product that’s easily churning out competition. How is he supposed to compete? Well, that’s where innovation comes in.
Entrepreneurship and innovation come hand in hand because any start-up business knows that it needs to fill a certain niche in order to attract a market, especially if said market is crowded with sharks. You need to have something that differentiates you from the rest of the rabble. Innovation (which is defined by merriam-webster as “the act or process of introducing new ideas, devices, or methods”) plays an important role here. New business needs more than attention grabbing throat screaming, “HI! I HAVE SOMETHING YOU SHOULD BUY!”, “By giving the market something new and innovative to address needs, entrepreneurs have the luxury of pulling the market invisibly without the hassle of wrenching your vocal chords out. Imagine being like Adam Lavigne stalked by hot girl groupies or a Jennifer Lawrence fantasized by boy band hunks but OH! – only the entrepreneur version of it. Yeah, you got what I mean.
Ezra Pound, a prominent writer-artist, once made this as his rallying cry: “Make it new!” It was in response to old, stifling art being produced in his time – Pound and his contemporaries made it a point to aggressively remake art in order to surprise and excite a jaded audience that believed it had seen everything art has to offer. In other words, they had to innovate.
A lesson any enterprising entrepreneur has to keep in mind, huh?