In the modern Society entrepreneurship is becoming the most used term in shaping the society or as a way of making the world a better place and creating more value.
Here we will define an entrepreneur as a person who wants to create more resource value than there has been before, may it be in government, business or a Non Profit Organization and entrepreneurship as the practice of creating value.
Entrepreneurship is neither a science nor an art. It is a practice and the practice that defines every great entrepreneur is innovation.
Innovation is the heart and core of entrepreneurship and is the tool every creative entrepreneur uses to win.
Innovation is the lifeblood of our global economy and a strategic priority for virtually every organization or government around the world. The power of innovative ideas to revolutionize industries and generate wealth is evident from history: In every case, the creative ideas of innovative entrepreneurs produced powerful competitive advantages and tremendous wealth for the pioneering company.
While we cannot underestimate the importance of innovation is humanity advancement it has been seen by many as an abstract art, a geneous or a gift only a few creative individual have. Of course everybody have their own gift and talents but something of great importance as innovation should not be left to nature to decide when we can all learn the science behind it and use it to improve lives.
Good news is that innovation is a skill and can be learned by anyone who is interested, excited! Probably because you want to make meaning and add something in the society great and make the world a better place.
Let’s start making meaning by understanding innovation on its own terms and its relevance in shaping the society.
But what’s innovation?
Innovation is improving a product or a service and change the way it is used to create new value on its usage. It is the act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.
Innovation and invention are terms that have been interchangeably used together many people get confused by the terms however is just a case of Similar words Different Meaning.
Innovation vs. invention
These terms have been used interchangeably until most people get confused on their difference however they are very different.
In its purest sense, “invention“can be defined as the creation of a product or introduction of a process for the first time in the world. “Innovation,” on the other hand, occurs if someone improves on or makes a significant contribution to an existing product, process or service.
History is filled with a lot of innovators but few ingenious inventors.
Innovation means combining already existing ideas to produce new sources of value while invention means coming up with new ideas.
While we are accustomed to innovation for an invented product to reach the market it may take 20 to 30 years to reach the market.
Now done we have defined and clarified the meaning innovation and entrepreneurship.
Let’s see the importance of innovation and (why you should care) in broad terms and categories. Chances are this are categories are where you lie in the society.
Entrepreneurship; Create new, products, services with new value proposition this enhances growth of the company and expansion to new markets and enhancing its brand.
Government: Innovative governments are able to offer better quality services to its citizens, cut down costs, generate more revenue and solve problems facing its citizens like poverty, corruption,ignorance, health unemployment and governance.
- new ways of working
- opportunities for leisure
- access to facilities and information
- environmental monitoring and protection
- new standards for safety, performance, quality
- Changing perceptions and values.
Types of innovation
Breakthrough Innovation: This is an innovation that separate one organization from the rest of the competitor. It brings new value proposition, new way and a new market echo system.
Few companies ever do this; however some great companies have consistently offered breakthrough products and processes to the market.
They are the minority e.g. Apple, General Electric, Ford, Intuit and locally Safaricom, are example of companies who ever delivered breakthrough innovative produces though none has consistently covered new markets annually.
Sustaining Innovation: Every technology needs to get better. Every year, our cameras get more pixels, computers get more powerful and household products become “new and improved.” Large organizations tend to be very good at this type of innovation, because conventional R&D labs and outsourcing are well suited for it.
Apple, for example, is a also superior sustaining innovator. They didn’t invent the digital music player, the smart phone, or even the tablet computer. However, they improved on earlier designs to such an extent that they seemed like they’re something completely new. In a similar vein, Toyota makes cars just like any others, except better, after the launch of M: Pesa it has been consistently been refined to a better product.
Disruptive Innovation: This is the most troublesome area, which target light or non-consumers of a category and require a new business model, because the value they create isn’t immediately clear.
Effects of disruption are ignored by the market leaders in the short term and when they come to realize it’s too late and they are usually forced to carve out new value proposition and in some situations forced out of the market while disruptors grow and become mainstream. Apple did that to IBM, Intuit to Other Accounting Software’s, Linux, Intel, Pixar, M:Pesa and to my opinion insider by Nation Media as it brought non consumers of magazines to the market and local vernacular radio stations disrupted traditional national radio startions,14 seater matatus disrupted buses like Riakanau,Jogoo Kimakia and Maendeleo bus service and current startups will disrupt large companies in the future.
broadcast television by viral videos, newspapers by blogs, phone calls by facebook status updates, public libraries by Wikipedia, drop box etc I didn’t say it is sweet to all but it happens and redefines the society by either making non producers to produces or non consumers to consumers.
These are just an extremely small percentage of disruptive occurrences and some innovations and how they affect us but in later editions we will talk more about disruption in the context of innovation because it’s the most exciting kind of innovation.
In this blog we shall dwell on mostly disruptive innovation, reasons being,
- We already know the companies and organization that will be doing sustaining and trying breakthrough innovation are presently large organizations although they can use disruptive innovation to cover new markets and growth.
- I believe the inability of most startup in Africa to offer great products is lack of knowledge on disruptive innovation to convert the current mass of non consumers to consumers carving unique value proposition in the low end market and challenging Status Quo.
- Most developing countries chances of real economy growth which empowers the masses lie on creating new markets which offer growth which in turn lie in understanding disruptive innovations by local or entrant entrepreneur as large part of their population is non consumers.
- It’s the only chance to uncover new markets, new economies, and new values and touch new lives using entrepreneurship and innovation.
- It can be used from large companies, startups, government faculties(Education, health, energy)and in Non Governmental Organization )
- It is the only way developing economies can truly benefit from tapping developed countries products and ideas and vise versa (unconsciously copy pasting or external advice on what might work in Africa won’t really work).
- It’s the unknown however well uncover it for the interested masses of entrepreneurs.
We shall start by offering examples of disruptive innovation, their effects, causes, its importance and why real economic success of any developing country lie in understanding and using disruptive innovation to offer growth in both industry and government.
We will also look at how Africa has a real chance to compete with other continents and above all create a better place of her inhabitants.
We shall also see why traditional methods of making products and growing to new markets and marketing are not usually effective and leads to waste.
We shall also see the interconnectedness of disruptive innovation. Lean startup and lean governance and how they can be adopted (By large organizations, startups and Government) to make more meaning and value for the mass especially in developing countries, Africa and moreover Kenya as government resources are lean and innovation is the only real remedy for problems facing us.
We will look at real factors hindering innovation in Africa and how they might be resolved for the common benefit of economic of all in Africa economic prosperity.