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It’s all about ideas – The Ideapreneur to the Fore

By Dato’ R. Rajendran

Steve Jobs always did everything a little different. He did things better than everybody else. At the helm of Apple Computers, his ideas created some of the most exciting personal computing products the world had ever seen. Most amazing of all, his best idea, the iPhone, wasn’t even a computer.

The iPhone was perhaps Job’s finest creation, his magnum opus, a great device that revolutionises the smartphone. At US$301 billion, today Apple Computers is worth more than Microsoft, HP and Dell combined. Such is the magnitude an ideapreneur has to business.

But don’t go looking for the definition in the Oxford Dictionary. Ideapreneur is a neologism to describe a form of entrepreneur, a radical inventor of change, instigating original ideas that add value which are sustainable commercially. Like Jobs, an ideapreneur continuously initiates innovative ideas, which changes the business landscape entirely and raises the game that much higher.

Ideapreneurs shares many of the traits of entrepreneurs and artists. All possess focused and determined minds that generate ideas with the purpose of causing a reaction. Though like an entrepreneur they act upon their ideas to create a sustainable enterprise. Achieving results through a proactive attitude, leading others into the often unknown and therefore are considered risk takers and pioneers.

Restlessness, unpredictable, extroverted and creative is often words used to describe them. Ideapreneurs share the same leadership qualities as an entrepreneur; they often collaborate with individuals who have financial or operation management backgrounds.

Unlike entrepreneurs, an ideapreneur only represents those with original ideas that also bring value. An ideapreneur should be a catalyst within their industry evoking change and disrupting the status quo.

In his book, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Peter F Drucker describes McDonald’s Ray Kroc as the archetype ideapreneur. Kroc identified the opportunity for a standardised fast-food experience and developed innovation that standardised everything from food-production, food quality, staff training, and customer service – even the layout of the store.

Ideapreneurs are people who succeed in first identifying the opportunity for change in a field, and then execute a strategy that creates shareholder value by bringing innovation into the field.

Other well-known Ideapreneurs
Dean Kamen

An American billionaire entrepreneur and inventor from New Hampshire USA, Kamen is best known for inventing the product that eventually became known as the Segway PT, an electric, self-balancing human transporter with a sophisticated, computer-controlled gyroscopic stabilization and control system. The device balances on two parallel wheels and is controlled by moving body weight.

Sir James Dyson

Sir James Dyson is a British industrial designer and founder of the Dyson company. He is best known as the inventor of the Dual Cyclone bagless vacuum cleaner, which works on the principle of cyclonic separation. His net worth in 2011 was said to be £1.45 billion.

Sir Richard Branson

An ideapreneur known for his pioneering and risk-taking attitude, he is best known for his Virgin Group of more than 400 companies.
From a magazine called Student at age 16, he set up an audio record mail-order business. In 1972, he had already opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records, later known as Virgin Megastores. Branson's Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s, as he set up Virgin Atlantic Airways and expanded the Virgin Records music label.
Branson is the 4th richest citizen of the United Kingdom and 254th richest person in the world, according to the Forbes 2011 list of billionaires, with an estimated net worth of US$4.2 billion.