Entrepreneurship and innovation image with a light bulb.

In the highly competitive world that we live in, innovative ideas are what will separate you from the rest.

To create an outstanding product and strong brand you need to innovate. But innovation doesn’t always mean creating something new. Innovators will often take existing products and ideas and tweak them to make them the best solution for their customers. Innovative ideas are one of the factors that makes a business competitive.

The world has plenty of issues that are hard to solve and that will continue to demand a solution. Far-sighted, creative ideas and innovative solutions are required to solve them. At the same time, such solutions will not emerge from simple planning and problem-solving processes.

What one needs to understand is that innovation is about seeing, perceiving and solving problems in creative ways.

But how exactly should entrepreneurs think about the problems they face?

Entrepreneurship and Adaptability

Major changes are necessary to understand customer’s needs, wants, and expectations as they are now empowered by the increasingly connected and digitized world.

Customer focus has rapidly shifted toward choosing companies that share their same values and lifestyle preferences.

Customers now have total control over how and where they purchase and procure products. These growing consumer expectations and choices have made organizations more customer-centric through innovative amendments. Enhancing the customer experience has provided increased value and created new ways to invent products and services.

As a means to develop an adaptable and versatile business, entrepreneurs must implement a lean process for testing products and services.

The Lean Method

Made popular by Eric Ries in The Lean Startup, the key principles in maintaining an adaptable business is a threefold process; build, measure, and learn.

Entrepreneurs need to understand that your idea may be great, however, it may not resonate with your audience (ie Quibi). To circumvent this issue, it’s important to build a smaller, more sustainable product to test with your audience.

Once you build what is known as your minimum viable product, you then distribute it to your market. It’s important to understand that your product at this point won’t be perfect.

The final stage of the lean method is to learn from the previous product test, taking what you learn to enter into the build phase once again.

This process should be used not only in the development of your product or service but also in your everyday operations. It’s a simple method to adapt to the everyday issues that entrepreneurs face while applying a framework for sustainable growth.

Invention Versus Innovation

Creative entrepreneurs are always thinking up new products or services that are innovative enough that they can create or open up new markets. This is probably the most popular and common form of innovation.

It is at this point that we must make a clear distinction between invention and innovation.

These are two different concepts: invention is the creation of a product or a process for the very first time, while innovation is an improvement or significant change to an already existing product.

Take, for example, the automobile industry. Earlier records show that the first truly modern automobile was the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, which was built by Karl Benz, a German inventor. This is the invention. Here comes Ford Motor Company, and a whole slew of automobile manufacturers, and they continuously introduced their take on the modern automobile, introducing new capabilities and improved parts. This is the innovation.

Most entrepreneurs will develop their business based on innovation. As a perfect example of innovation versus invention, the most valued business in the world, Apple did very little to invent. Apple didn’t invent the first MP3 player, watch, tablet, cell phone, or computer, they simply saw a need to innovate.

Constant Creative Destruction

Being innovative is certainly one of the traits that demonstrate how competitive an entrepreneur is. It is up to the entrepreneur whether to be innovative so he can meet constantly changing markets.

As the entrepreneur introduces innovations, new demand is created. When this happens, we are looking at a representation of the concept of “creative destruction”, where existing markets are destroyed to make way for new ones, only to be taken over and consumed by another set of newer markets.

Fostering Excellence in Entrepreneurship

Excellent entrepreneurs deserve to be recognized. The landscape for entrepreneurs in the digital age is tougher than ever, and innovation needs to continue to shed light on some of the achievements of others.

BBB is proud to be serving as a sponsor and a judge for this year’s Orange County Business Journal Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards. This event is designed to recognize individuals who exemplify the American entrepreneurial spirit — individuals who, by their creativity and determination, have established and nurtured successful business ventures. This is the perfect opportunity to recognize clients or business associates who have distinguished themselves by their foresight, determination, and accomplishments.

The free virtual awards program will take place on May 6th, 2021 at 2:00 PM, and will feature some of southern California’s most prominent and leading entrepreneurs. We are excited to share this opportunity to celebrate small and thriving entrepreneurs with you all.

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