Most dictionaries define innovation as the introduction of something new as in a new idea, method, or device, but I think there is a difference between the true innovator and the user of innovation and if you’re an investor, it’s important to be able to distinguish the difference. It seems that many companies claim to be innovative when the economy is struggling but how many truly are being innovative and how many are just using the word for market positioning. I would guess that 1 in every 1000 are true innovators and the rest are, for lack of a better word: “Posers”. I believe to truly be innovative, you have to come from a courageously creative position with the desire to create something unique and original to your industry and this takes an investment in time to fully understand your product, its industry and its market. It’s not just doing something that you haven’t done before but others have been doing well before you decided to jump on the bandwagon. Like how all the companies that are going “Green” because they’d look out of sync with their consumer markets if they didn’t and not because they want to embrace the new technologies for all the potential to make the world a better place. Few of these posers understand or care being green is nothing new and has been around as a concept since before agrarian times and the business of green technology has been an industry movement back as far as the 1960’s, If not earlier. In the 1960’s, (during the Babyboomer back to nature movement), there were a few who held on to that bandwagon for dear life because they saw the future and the truth was the future wasn’t so bright. It was a truth that they couldn’t live with while most others went happily onto the natural resource exploitative 70’s, 80’s and 90’s; only to wake up one day in a 20 something economic collapse and start to question their priorities. As consumers, we’re demanding cheaper, smarter ways of fueling our lifestyles not because most of us care about the earth, but because we want to save money. That’s the difference between a true Green Techi and a Green Tech Poser: one uses their head and their heart to forge their passion in an unproven territory and the other waits until the coast has been cleared and then runs to the front of the pack and declares themselves “Innovators”. This is how I tell the difference between a real green tech environmentalist and a regular current day business guy green poser: one thinks with their heart and brain and the other with only their brain; one naturally wants to share new ideas with other innovators and the others naturally fears competition above innovation. It’s easy to follow all the true innovators after they do all the work and all the sacrificing and then make a buck off their courage to create. True innovation comes from being courageous first and caring about something more than just making money second. True innovators believe in their heart what they are doing is right and in their mind they believe that if they stick with it, the money will follow. So if you’re an investor in true innovation don’t let just anyone try to sell you on the idea that their company is being innovative when all they are doing is riding the coat tails of the true innovators out there who deserve your financial support. Maybe you just want to ride the wave of making money whether you are a part of something truly innovative or not; fine, but remember a True Innovator is to an Innovation Marketer as R&D Investor is to Product Investor: One takes the risk and supports heartfelt aspirations towards making greatness and may make a lot of money and the other may make money. We need all kinds of investors investing in both the creator of something original and the support of something viable to our market place but don’t confuse the two; one needs you’re investment money much more when there is true risk of creation than the other because the other will always have consumers to support them off the backs of those who made it happen.
Hey Investor: Do You Support Innovation, or Does Innovation Support You?