Transitioning from Inventor to Entrepreneur
Turing Your Vision into Reality
This is a topic I was asked to revisit for an upcoming presentation. Back in 2010 I gave the same presentation to the Tampa Bay Inventors Council and it was well received. Not sure how many people heeded my advice, but what I presented then is still and will always be the difference between success and failure with anyone with an idea.
First, you must understand that no matter what the general media might tell an inventor, just because they have an idea doesn’t make them an entrepreneur. To earn the title “entrepreneur” they must demonstrate some very specific entrepreneurial competencies.
One major obstacle that I find many inventors struggle is changing their thinking from “problem solver” to “business person.” This is difficult because it requires changing your perspective and potentially your core belief in order to make this transition. If they cannot make this change their chance of success is nearly zero!
Why is this transition so important you may ask? Well, because an inventor will either need to grow their business themselves or find a business person to grow it for them. In either case the inventor must communicate with a business mindset. And, the business mindset is much different than that of an inventor.
Let me give you an idea of what I mean. Have you ever talked to an inventor? What do they want to talk about? Their product and how cool it is. How it saves money, does something faster, easier, or better than any other thing out there.
Problem is an investor or a business person is evaluating an entirely different set of criteria. An explanation that I found to be very simple to understand was written by Robert Kiyosaki’s concept of the Cash Flow Quadrant . The B&I Triangle created displays what is important to business people and investors.
Notice the product is the smallest part of the diagram! This is because a real entrepreneur understands it’s the other stuff NOT the product gives the business value!
So, how do you make the transition? Personal change- which requires real introspection and self-awareness. If an inventor isn’t ready for personal change then their hobby drags on and on.
Do you know someone that’s been working on an invention or idea for years? Well, now you know why. It’s because they are unwilling to do that self-examination to understand the things that they need to let go of and change within themself to make the personal transition necessary to turn their vision into a reality!