Following my last post, I can’t help but to laugh at the irony of stumbling on this post from a VC/Entrepreneur blog from Africa. Some excerpts:
“[…]innovation has become quite formulaic with rules as strict as a limerick or sonnet: find a problem, build an app to solve it, develop for smartphone and add social integration.
The tech ecosystem is slowly setting itself up as a playground for mavericks, dropouts and quick-talking 20-somethings just itching to change the world. The current atmosphere suggests fresh possibilities for a continent desperate to prove itself as an innovation and entrepreneurial destination. But is innovating more important than a real, solid business model?”
Innovation may be the death of us
In Africa there is a lot of pressure to innovate. Many wheeler-dealers, bored of the corporate humdrum, ready to turn an industry on its head, with a basilisk gaze are primed with the perfect quality for entrepreneurship. Good solid businesses become boring, making money is an afterthought and innovation is the watchword. The pressure to innovate is as overwhelming as the burning sun on delicate skin. Investors want you to innovate, mentors advise it and journalists flock to it like moths to a flame. Its appetite is insatiable and most startups are victims of it. Truly, we ought to rename Africa “the place where good companies die of too much innovation”.” — via Entrepreneurs in Africa: forget innovation, focus on profitability
Funny how some African entrepreneurs are a little worn from the term ‘innovation’ as well. Perhaps the tech community as a whole, has diluted the definition of ‘innovation’, creating a cycle of unrealistic expectations from entrepreneurs and investors alike, thus harming the ecosystem more than encouraging it.
Sidenote: I feel as though I copied and pasted a significant chunk of the piece; that is not the case — please read the whole post here, it’s a good read. Hopefully it will not be construed as plagiarizing, as that is not my intention.