“There is nothing new under the sun” – Ecclesiastes 1:9

It’s compelling to contemplate the idea that every element that makes up our planet, plants, trees, animals and ourselves, was created at the moment the universe was created and has been around since then.  And yet, these same elements get rearranged, transformed and reconstructed into something unique each time a new life checks in.  In the end, those same elements dissipate and are returned to the universe for the next cycle.  Ashes to ashes…

The same can be said of ideas.  Humans needs are largely constant over time and therefor the problems in need of a solution can be traced back to some fundamentals.  Music, movies, video games, books, etc. all serve to pass along the culture, distribute content and engage our attention.  Technology and methods change but the needs remain the same.

Invention is important to entrepreneurship but it’s not the foundation.  It may not even be necessary.  A researcher pulled together disparate “green” technologies into a design for Habitat for Humanity homes where the home owner’s monthly energy cost was only a few dollars.  All the technology already existed.  The key was assembling the ideas of others into a new and unique solution.

Invention is about solving technical problems.  Entrepreneurship is about solving problems for people.

 

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