“A brilliant idea doesn’t guarantee a successful invention. Real magic comes from a brilliant idea combined with willpower, tenacity and a willingness to make mistakes.”- Lori Greiner, Shark Tank, Inventor & Entrepreneur
It’s easy to see innovation as the end game - the hinge upon which advancement takes place. This concept makes for good one-liners and memes, but it lacks teeth. Unless we see innovation for what it is - a catalyst for success - we will fall short of making wise choices.
History buffs will remember the rivalry of Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison. Both cutting-edge inventors and geniuses in their own right, their story illustrates the fact that innovation is not a predictor of success. Tesla arguably boasts the largest innovative contribution to society but died penniless. Edison, the lesser contributor, became a millionaire. Electricity changed the world as we knew it, but innovation in and of itself was not enough to ensure success.
Tesla, Edison, and the dawn of electricity taught us there are no guarantees in innovative thought. A good idea will not necessarily perpetuate wealth, and harnessing innovation is easier said than done. From the Blockchain to CBD to Internet Gambling, the world is full of ideas and opportunities. Channeling those ideas into a lucrative business model is what separates reality from dreams.
When deciding to invest in a company, the idea alone is not what makes the company profitable. It is their ability to harness it. Utilizing innovation in ways that improve how we live is where success happens.
While success begins with innovative thought, it certainly does not end there. Innovation no doubt starts a chain reaction, but by itself, its current dies.
As investors, we’d be wise to remember innovation alone doesn't ensure a successful investment outcome.
“If I had asked the public what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” -Henry Ford.