Inventor vs entrepreneur 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.

inventor vs entrepreneurFirst, 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.

Here is a major obstacle when it comes to inventor vs entrepreneur.  Inventors struggle in 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.  But, if they cannot make this change their chance of success is nearly zero!

The Importance of inventor vs entrepreneur

Why is inventor vs entrepreneur so important you may ask?  Because an inventor will have one of two paths from which to choose. First, they can grow the business themselves. Or second, they can find a business person to build it for them.

In either case, the inventor must communicate with an entrepreneurial mindset. This is very different than that of the inventor.

Let me give you an idea of what I mean.  Have you ever talked with an inventor?  What do they want to talk about? Their product. How cool it is. How it saves money. How it does something faster, easier, or better than some other thing out there.

But, why is this a problem? Because investors and entrepreneurs evaluate the product using an entirely different set of criteria.

I found very simple to understand explanation written by Robert Kiyosaki’s in his concept of the Cash Flow Quadrant . In this book Kiyosaki developed the B&I Triangle.  The diagram below clearly display the disconnect when it come to inventor vs entrepreneur.

Look at the product. It is the smallest part of the diagram!  Entrepreneurs understand it’s all the other stuff, NOT the product, that gives a business value!

So, how do you make the inventor vs entrepreneur transition?  Personal change! But, that requires introspection and self-awareness. If an inventor isn’t ready for personal change then their hobby drags on and on forever.

Here’s a BGS tool that can help you with the soul searching. It’s our Personal & Business Goal Assessment which is meant to help you understand what you want from life.This way you can tie your action to your life’s purpose making it easier to make that shift you need in your mindset .

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 themselves to make the personal transition necessary to turn their vision into a reality!

Find out more about what might be missing in the transition to entrepreneur in our e-book The Missing Component to Successful Entrepreneurship. Just complete the form below to get your FREE copy.

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  1. Avatar
    October 27, 2012

    Dino, you are “spot on” with your analysis. I have to share this.

    • Avatar
      Dino Eliadis
      October 28, 2012

      Harland, thank you for the kudos and feel free to share with any and all. That is the point of this blog to teach as many as possible on how to create self-sustaining businesses. – Dino

  2. Avatar
    Anthony Kelly
    November 18, 2013

    Time and time again I see this happening.

    An inventor is usually, almost, sort of, kind of, all the times, but not really EVER a business person. One personal example I have is a local Florida based ‘entrepreneur’ back in the mid ’90s that had so many ideas he had TOO many ideas – not one ever got off the ground successfully. In fact, this person has several lawsuits since that time (fraud mostly). He was able to get people excited, because you could feel his passion on his projects, but again the passion was for the multitude of projects – not ONE successful project.

    The key then in my opinion, is discerning who you are and what you can do – get the right people in place that will support your inventor/entrepreneur/manager side … Bottom line, be honest with who you are, and hire/get/collaborate with people that have the skills you don’t.. that’s truly the best advice.

    Best – Tony!

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