What I’ve learned about the difference between an invention, innovation, and the factors that drive innovation has enriched my understanding of the statement of inquiry, understand that entrepreneurs must innovate in order to remain competitive over time, because the means by which entrepreneurs innovate are driving factors. The job of the entrepreneur is to take an invention – a new idea for a product or process – and turn it into a successful commercial creation that adds value to the market.

Moreover, this also links with the global context, orientation in space and time, as it relates to how individuals respond to changing opportunities. This is done by innovating – turning an invention into something that is commercially viable. For example, Starbucks turned coffee into the viable commercial operation, by creating an environment centred around the user experience – WiFi, music, etc.

Starbucks is an example of an innovation

I now know how to answer the inquiry question, what drives innovation?. The course content has taught me that there are many factors that influence innovation. For example, competitive pressures drove Steve Jobs to innovate the iPad so he could beat android, or changes in laws or regulations drove an innovator to implement safety features in cars. Other factors that could drive innovation include the needs and wants of customers, the skills or hobbies of the innovator, to have a positive impact on society, the culture of the company, or government support in the form of research and development tax credits, etc.

This also establishes a connection with what I’ve learned previously about needs and wants. This is because an invention is only turned into an innovation when a successful commercial creation satisfies previously-unmet needs or wants. One of the techniques in identifying a niche in the market is called market mapping, and this technique may be used in the process of innovation. For example, a market map for cars would consider young and cheap cars such as the Seat-Ibiza, or old and luxury cars such as the Rolls-Royce silver shadow. There may be unmet needs or wants in old and cheap cars, so this is where the entrepreneur’s innovation comes in.

To conclude, I present to you the ever-growing mind map of what I’ve learned this unit:

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Business and Management Course Companion
Class presentation

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