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March 13, 2011 / innovationinitiator

I think, therefore I am…

My last post on the economic event generated quite a buzz and I know the intellectuals among you felt insulted that I measured the dreams of an entrepreneur against money.

You are right. Not everyone is seduced by money. Some of us, through an economic selection/elimination process called “financial independence”, have risen above the polluting effects of money and now thirst for a higher level of gratification.

The Intellectual Event™ –

There is an intrinsic need for all of us to leave our mark on this world. Having been consumers for most of our lives, we do feel the need to be creators once in a while. Unfortunately the only thing we can create naturally are babies, for everything else (there is MasterCard) we can only ideate.

Creation, for those with an entrepreneurial mindset, is about seeding an idea. A idea that lives on to be a legacy. This intellectual pursuit can be the foundation for a commercial venture that has the ability to outlive any of us and impact more people that we could do directly.

Let me give you an example –

Image representing Mark Zuckerberg as depicted...

Image via CrunchBase

Mark Zuckerberg created ‘Face Mash’ over a weekend to impress his friends and demonstrate his programing capability. Facebook and it’s commercial success were accidental and not the focus.

Closer home Mohammed Yunus created the Grameen Bank as a way of enabling women to become entrepreneurs. The banks own profitability wasn’t the reason he started it.

When Ravi Ghate, a social entrepreneur, started SMSOne in Pune, his focus was to bring troubled youth into the main-fold and not a commercial business. 10 years, 5 states & 5 global innovation awards later, that idea is now a commercial venture with a social conscience.

What I’m getting too is that you don’t have to dilute your altruistic goals to make money. Chances are that your idea has a greater opportunity of outliving you if it has some commercial value to someone.

Wether we like it or not, wanting more has constantly driven human progress.Human progress Every idea that lived and has grown from the day the first of our kind started communicating, is the one that found a consumer. Someone who was willing to stop their own commercial activity and listen. An idea for an ideas sake has no life. An idea that can multiply, does so because of it’s commercial value.

Religion is one of the most successful ideas that human beings could ever create and it has generated more wealth than any other commercial establishment in history!

So, as an aspiring entrepreneur what should you do?
  • Quantify your idea
  • Separate the person who is impacted by the idea from who would pay for it
  • Write down what’s in it for you
  • Work on it

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