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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Next Steve Jobs May Be in 8th Grade

The following interview with Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton, excerpted here, first appeared in the Orange County Register, by columnist Jan Norman.

"Failed leaders in business and politics are usually wrong about a core premise that drives all their strategies," Jim Clifton wrote recently in the Gallup Business Journal. "Because they are so wrong about that premise, every subsequent decision they make is bad."

That's a provocative statement. But as the Register's entrepreneurship writer, I was more interested in what he said next: "When it comes to fostering long-term economic growth, entrepreneurship trumps innovation.... An innovative product or service has no commercial value until a talented businessperson finds a customer for it."

The United States spends much time and money encouraging youngsters who exhibit athletic talent or score high on IQ tests, but leaves the development of naturally talented entrepreneurs to chance, Clifton says. Gallup researchers are working to develop an "EQ test," or entrepreneurial quotient measurement.

Q. Why do you say that America is putting too much emphasis on innovation and not enough on entrepreneurship?

A. Billions and billions of dollars have been spent by this government on innovation, but there are no jobs coming out of it….Entrepreneurship is the horse and innovation is the cart. The U.S. keeps loading the cart with innovative ideas. What the U.S. needs instead is a team of horses to pull the best ideas into the marketplace.

To read the entire interview, click here.


paulcjune said...
June 4, 2013 at 6:04 PM  

Enjoyed reading. Our government as well as surrounding business leaders pound their chests stating innovation is what will lead our country into its next stage of growth, yet I scoff at this idea due to many innovative ideas are “Good” ideas, not “Great” ideas. The difference between the two is one has a profitable business model and the other does not. When building a model for a business, one must take the time to evaluate the market place and determine what it will bear. Is the market growing or shrinking? What does competition look like? Is my innovation significantly different than my competitors? Is the consumer asking for it or need it? Is it solving a true pain with a sizable market? These questions are asked on a daily basis by successful entrepreneurs. The entrepreneur is what our country was built upon and their ability to access innovative products and processes as well as not so innovative products/process and build sustainable businesses around them. All hail the entrepreneur!

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