Entrepreneurs and Inventors

Cite this article as:"Entrepreneurs and Inventors," in The Business Professor, updated July 9, 2014, last accessed June 7, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/lesson/entrepreneurs-and-inventors/.
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Entrepreneurs and Inventors
This video explains the distinction between entrepreneurs and inventors.

Next Article: How Entrepreneurs Encounter Opportunities: Methods of Innovation


Entrepreneurs & Inventors

As discussed in the previous chapter, the entrepreneur assembles resources around a source of value.  More common than not, the entrepreneur is not the person who came up with the idea or invention.  This separation is the most common genesis of entrepreneurial teams.  For example, an engineer develops a state of the art baby stroller.  It has functionality that is far superior to all of the strollers on the market.  The inventor may not have the knowledge, time, or ability to work on the product and build a business around it. In steps the entrepreneur who undertakes the process of assembling value around the product. While the engineer undertakes the role of continued product development, the entrepreneur plans for bringing the stroller to market in a way that will provide a sustainable transfer for value that benefits the business.

Do you love your product or service?

Now is a good time to raise another point. As an entrepreneur, do you love your product or service? In the case of most successful serial entrepreneurs, the answer is generally “no”.  You should be passionate about the process of building a business, but not necessarily about the idea itself. The role of the entrepreneur is to remain objective in evaluating the business opportunity. He or she knows that many good ideas exist. If the present idea, no matter how cool or innovative, does not product the desired value, then it is not worth pursing. Inventors, on the other hand, tend to become consumed by their product.  Their dedication to their work product makes it difficult to look objectively at the product when determining the feasibility of creating the desired value around the venture.  The entrepreneur looks at the product through the lens of the intended customer segment, rather than through the lens of the devoted inventor.

Now that you understand the concept of what type of ideas constitute potential business opportunities, let’s turn to how individuals identify or form these ideas.  The next chapter will focus on evaluating these ideas to determine whether they are indeed feasible entrepreneurial opportunities.

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