Inventor Versus Innovator: Which Are You?


Only a small percentage of innovators are also inventors. If necessity is the mother of invention, obsession is the father of innovation. Innovators iterate and combine preexisting ideas until they incrementally modify an invention such that it embodies a marketable value proposition upon which a sustainable company can be created.

If you are solely an inventor, your startup options include: (i) sell the intellectual property underlying your inventions before they are commercialized, which will net you nominal value, (ii) partner with someone who has innovator skills, or (iii) risk losing it all by attempting to play the roles of both inventor and innovator. Few people are successful at both roles because each requires the distinct skills, aptitudes and proclivities noted above.

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