Real Innovation and Entrepreneurs

Today Entrepreneurs are quickly becoming heroes due to the focused attention of media on valuation. They are quickly becoming the like rock stars of the 90s.

Almost 1/2 of Americans have an entrepreneurial idea/invention they would like to bring to market, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor.

Rich investors are lining up to put up money for the next big thing. After all they have seen Shark Tank, so they are qualified to invest in start-ups right?

The addiction to the Flappy Bird is a classic example of our obsession with innovation. This simple, addictive and completely annoying game was a topic of conversation worldwide.  As if the obsession wasn’t bad enough, when Flappy Bird was removed from the app store it was a tragedy of epic proportions that was covered on CNN, Wired, LA Times and hundreds of other news websites.
The innovation continued with SnapChat a very disturbing hang out place where teens can easily share nude photos and videos with friends.  How about taking casual sex to the next level with the Bang With Friends app?
As innovation moves unstoppably forward at high speed we must distinguish between innovation and innovation that is meaningful.  Wikipedia’s definition of innovation is “The application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing market needs.”

Regrettably innovation is quite often utilized to grab the elusive ‘eyeball’ by offering solutions that nourish our most elementary of ‘unarticulated needs’
Now we are sucked into a world of staring at a computer screen, mastering a game, texting walking zombies, the latest Kardashian kafuffle or some amazing selfie; rather than looking to the heavens and picturing a brighter future.
In a recent interview Burt Rutan, who is considered the godfather of commercial space travel, indicated he believes that innovation that really makes a difference has flat lined.

In a world where Flappy Bird disappearance is worldwide news and the $1 microscope that could revolutionize global health care is not even a blip on the world stage; we all need to take some blame. We will continue to miss important discoveries like early stage cancer detection by teenager Jack Andraka!

We can continue to blame the patent trolls, government standing in the way of true innovation.
We can blame the venture capitalists for only caring about the bottom line and profits. Unless we can tear ourselves away from the next new technology fad, the only thing that is standing in our own way to see real true impactful innovation is our blissful ignorance.