Types of innovations
Innovations can be defined as processes through which entrepreneurs are involved in the conversion of opportunities into ideas that are marketable. Creativity is the force behind creation of new ideas that have been referred to as innovation. Depending on the process itself how it occurs, innovations can be classified into various types. Invention type of innovation is whereby new ideas are generated by individuals from scratch. This is actually where creativity is so much involved because without brainwork invention cannot occur. Inventions occur when people like scientists come up with new ideas for instance concerning life like the invention of a process to cure a disease or even an instrument or procedure for measuring certain parameters. Inventions are actually breakthrough and can go even beyond the human experience. Some can be based on already existing models. Inventions can be in different areas for instance art, music, culture, science and so on.
The second type of innovation is the extension type. This is whereby somebody utilizes an already invented concept or idea to come up with another new dimensional idea or concept. It can be viewed in terms of developing an already created innovation.
In the music industry an artist can come up with an original song yet others will collaborate with him or her to come up with newer versions of the same song. Therefore this is innovation but in the extended form. The invention of Aloe Vera for curing skin infection has been further developed into the invention of other medicine that can even cure more than just the skin infection.( Afua,2003).
The third type of innovation concerns the duplication of pre-existing ideas. This is whereby an entrepreneur sees already existing new ideas in terms of increasing the number of copies of the same idea and find an opportunity in them. This type of innovation comes up because of unequal distriuibution of services or products within a particular geographical region. An entrepreneur noticing that international call services are offered at Town A only while town B has the same demand can come up with a duplicate innovation and set up the same business in town B.In such a case he /she is not the inventor of international telephone services in that location but he/she has simply duplicated another persons idea to come up with a new service..( Afua,2003).
The fourth type of invention is referred to as the combination innovation. This refers to innovation whereby an individual decides to bring together other pre-existing ideas to come up with a new innovation. Ideas which seem to be interrelated can be synthesized in the process so as to come up with a combination that has a new outlook and still be considered as a new innovation. This type of innovation can be exemplified in the computer programming filed whereby a programmer can join several ideas created by other programmers and come up with a software that is capable of doing a couple of tasks all under the same suit. For instance initially we can different software’s for word processing, calculations, database management and other tasks but with the synthesis innovation Microsoft was able to come up with the office suite that can carry out all these tasks all under the same package.
Entrepreneurs do not create change but exploit change..
They utilize change first of all because of the fact that change is part of them and they are used to the idea of living with it. For entrepreneurs change is actually the source of opportunity in a business environment. Without change it means that they still hold to the same products and services and same clients but with change the minds are opened up through thinking and this is what brings about new opportunities in the business. They view change as a normal and healthy occurrence that is necessary for the growth of business. Therefore in the course of searching for opportunities they look for change , welcome it into the business and then exploit that change so as to get opportunities for future advancements. Entreprenuers can be looked at as the exploiters of change rather than the creators of change because of the activities they are involved in the course of pursuing their business goals. It is important to note that they are involved in the coordination of factors of production such as land and capital and this role does not place them in a better position to create change. (Kuratko and Hodgetts 2004) Secondly Innovators are the ones who spot opportunity in a business after identifying that indeed change should take place.
Even though some theories claim that innovators are the ones who create change they do not go ahead to give an explanation as to where the change emanates from. Therefore they tend to leave some questions unanswered as to who is the real creator of change.
I think it is vital to note it is not possible that innovators can have the ability to exploit change that they do not know where it has come from. To some point critically looking at the statement one can come to a conclusion that entrepreneurs too are involved in the creation of change especially in small enterprises which are yet to begin. In new business ventures it is normally the work of the innovator to come up with change by being able to identify for instance specific products or services that cannot be found in a particular market. In big organizations entrepreneurs can be looked at in terms of exploiters of change. This is because change can be created in an organization for instance with the management but a lower cadre employees can come up with a unique opportunity that can lead to a new venture. In such a case the employee would have utilized the created change he never created to come up with a business opportunity.
So whether to associate an innovator with creation of change or not actually depends on the type of entrepreneur that is being referred to and the type of business or organization that is being analyzed.
Qualities and the Dark side of entrepreneurship
Qualities of entrepreneurs are the attributes that make the entrepreneurs successful in whatever they are involved in. The first quality concerns risk taking whereby entrepreneurs are considered to be risk takers in whatever the venture into. This is a person who sets out to pursue a dream even without the resources properly arranged and manages to send out the risk to other related potentials. Entrepreneurs are independent thinkers as they are used to the idea of not allowing other people to think for them. This is why they are able to come up with not only creative but original and unique ideas that have never even been imagined. Creativity is another important quality of an entrepreneur. It actually creativity which drives someone to come up with change products or services which are unique in their own identity. An entrepreneur has to be confident and always believes in the power to succeed no matter what may come in the way of pursuing the objectives. You cannot separate entrepreneurship from handwork. This I mean that all efforts of the individual are directed to achieving the objectives of that business. There is no laziness in entrepreneurs as they are willing to even go the extra miles to see things moving. Entrepreneurs always have a passion of what they do. They are therefore not pushed by anyone to work or do whatever their business entails. Commitment is also a very important aspect of entrepreneurship whereby such people never get into other activities which interfere with what they are supposed to do for their business to succeed. Desire to succeed is a critical quality in entrepreneurship. This is actually what drives somebody into business no matter what the goals may be but everybody desires to succeed as nobody would desire to fail in life. Positivity always prevails in successful entrepreneurship. A successful entrepreneur has to have a positive mental attitude so as to be inspired into succeeding. Negative attitudes lead to failure of business because without a positive attitude there will also be lack of goodwill. Entrepreneurs are never in a hurry but they are always exercise patience in whatever they do. The results may not be forthcoming but with patience greater profits are bound to be realized in entrepreneurship. Flexibility is a very important strength in entrepreneurship as it can make one to move from a non-profit to a more profit business. (Kuratko and Hodgetts 2004)Entrepreneurship call for great sacrifices by those who want to succeed. It is not an easy going endeavor. For instance it can call for one to do away with a career that had been studied for a long time to pursue entrepreneurship.
The bad side of entrepreneurship concerns its destructiveness whereby an entrepreneur can leave for a worthy course to venture into high risks and end up regretting in the future. Entrepreneurship can also lead to unethical behavior that goes against the standards of the society. This is whereby as long as a venture is profitable whether the society approves or not does not concern the creator of the idea. When it comes to young entrepreneurs they are at a very high risk of being conned by fake investors who are out their looking for them another dark side of entrepreneurship concerns trust whereby there is a possibility of the entrepreneur not trusting the people who work for him /her because he /she holds a different view from them.
Ego in an organization at time can be major obstacle that is associated with entrepreneurship. This is especially noticed when an individual does not exercise humility to realize the organization is more important than an individual.
Strategic planning is the overall process of decision making whereby the entrepreneur chooses a course of the business by first of all determining where it is currently to where he would want the business to be in future. This entire process is carried out while considering the strengths and weaknesses of the venture. Strategic planning is a very essential part of the entrepreneurship process. This is because during the initial stages of entrepreneurship most entrepreneurs are normally involved in activities which appear to have urgency while overlooking the future or ultimate goals of the business.
There are factors that drive entrepreneurs into strategic planning. This include the demand on the strategic managers time , the speed with which decision making is undertaken, internal politics which cause problems, the uncertainty of the entrepreneur and other environmental factors. (Wickham,2004).
Most emerging entrepreneurs engage in planning activities but normally they are not formalized in nature. Therefore the main purpose of strategic planning is to ensure that all the issues that pertain to the business are well taken care of to avoid problems in the future. Strategic planning is essential in the sense that it is a framework for major decisions in the business and it becomes the basis from which the business can be approved since the issues can be seen clearly. For example to be given funding from organizations such as Banks one of the requirements is a detailed strategic plan for that particular business that needs funding. The strategic plan is also a vital document that is necessary to explain the business to friends and other people so as to inform them have them motivated and even incorporate them in the operations of the business. Some other parties involved in the business may be lacking awareness on what course the business is taking therefore this document comes in handy to give guidelines on the issues that business is supposed to undertake.. (Wickham,2004).
In terms of monitoring and evaluation of the business performance, the strategic plan is a very essential document that is supposed to set the benchmark for monitoring how the business would be faring. A strategic plan is not the same as a business plan because a business plan is much more detailed in form. A strategic plan is short in form and can even form the framework for writing a business plan. (Kuratko and Hodgetts 2004).
This document should also not be confused with a business operational plan. a strategic plan in this case is more visionary and directional while an operational plan is a document that is short time meant to address the immediate issues. For instance when planning for a holiday, the strategic issues can include the budget, venue, number of people and others while issues to be included in the operational plan include packing, weather conditions, travel arrangements and so on. The main components of a strategic plan include the mission, vision , values, objectives strategies. Goals and programs.
As already indicated most emerging entrepreneur engage in planning informally and even other do not. This can be attributed to a number of factors among which include the perception that the process is costly. Limited time is also an obstacle towards strategic management. Lack of knowledge and expertise is also a contributing factor. When there is no trust in the entrepreneurship process then there will be strategic planning since parties sense mischief against one another. Despite these obstacles strategic planning has proved to be of value to ventures for instance businesses have managed to save on costs, improved decision making, reduced the feeling of uncertainty and even increased the competition position among other benefits not mentioned. Therefore it is also an asset for emerging business ventures.. (Wickham,2004).
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