It may be hard to accept, but innovations are as much about the adoption of technology as it is about the invention. If you create a “revolutionary” new technology and no one knows about it or buys it, the revolution will never happen. Innovation is about how technology (including products and services) change our lives when we use it!
Many companies I have met over the past 10 years have developed some very promising technology. Most of it is sitting on a shelf collecting dust. One particular company I met about five years ago had nearly 100 patentable inventions – some they pursued and filed the patents, others they opted not file a patent on. Whether the item was patented or not, they shared a common characteristic – not one unit of any of them had ever been sold!
Inventions and the process of inventing – ideas, research, and development to a “product” – is fun. It is what life and career are about for many people. But an invention that the market cannot or will not buy does no one any good. To give your inventions there “due”, they need to be taken to the market place. They need to change how we live, what we do, and transform our lives on some level.
For many people they are conflicted between wanting to do good and having a profit motive. These are not mutually exclusive goals. Making money to produce a product, create jobs, and fund new innovations is a noble thing. Making money, having profits and funds to contribute to your favorite charity, to invest in the community is a good thing.
Making money is not about greed, taking advantage of others. It is about generating a return on the investment of time, money, and other resources so that society, life, and the world has more opportunity, options, and a better standard of living.
As an inventor, researcher, and/or entrepreneur, making money through a marketable technology should be your goal. Marketable technologies change the world most often for the better directly and indirectly.
Set your goal to create and develop technology that your market wants, needs, or desires. Develop answers to questions; solutions to problems; and open doors with things we didn’t even know could exist. That is your goal and it is one of the most important contributions you can make to the world. Be innovative. Be an entrepreneur who brings market worthy solutions to your customer! They will thank you for it.