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Why innovation is sometimes better than invention!

I am generalising now based upon my own experience. There are exceptions to my comments.

Many inventors remind me of the Frank Sinatra song, "I did it my way". I have had the pleasure of meeting with numerous inventors over my business career. One thing they share is passion. Passion for their concept and their approach to it. The ideas can vary from science fiction to great ideas. They never give up.

The other side of the inventor coin has been a disregard for recommendations, criticism and suggestions from every source. They always know better. The long term product developments, while often innovative when the project commenced, is now often lagging the reality of the market. i have seen many inventors working on their product, still not gone to market, 10+ years after they commenced. They often have a very limited understanding of the vagaries of the market, or the reality of their product's functionality and suitability in the market.

They refuse to give up equity as they fear losing control, want ridiculous amounts of money, and/or trust no one and therefore want to retain ownership of the IP, often in the form of patents despite being paid for them. The IP is often lodged in a separate business. The patents have sucked much of the capital out of their personal and business resources. My most recent exposure was a 12+ year, 30million product investment that still has not seen a single sale, and an inventor who ...... Inventors are too often driven by succeeding where they feel others have failed.

Innovators are often currently operating within the market themselves and have observed the existing contraints within the sector. They understand the operational issues, and often want to change small, sometimes big things, to maximise the impact and effect on the industry. They consult widely to ensure they understand the problem, they seek advice from all possible sources, they talk to financially aware persons to ensure they understand the financial benefits of their idea for the consumer of the product enhancement and themselves. They are hoping to benefit financially through these changes and this drives them.

They understand the market, are often connected within the market, and want to gain traction quickly. Often not interested in spending money on patents and the like. They are more business astute.Will take the money and run if that is what the buyer wants. Versatile and flexible.

I do however enjoy spending time with inventors. Their passion is infectious and stokes your own fires. Sadly, I have seen a few, who following in this mould, have subsequently been liquidated and ended up as workers in the new business, without equity.

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