Innovation, Invention, Ideas & Entrepreneurs

In working with both entrepreneurs and also experienced business leaders, I often discover that terminology gets mixed up as regards the discussion about competitive advantage and value creation when we discuss Innovation. Below clarifies some of the fundamental differences.

An Idea ≠ An Innovation ≠  An Invention ≠ An Enterprise

  • An Idea (Thought)
    • Something, such as a thought or conception, that potentially or actually exists in the mind as a product of mental activity.
  • An Invention (Creation)
    • An invention is a unique or novel device, method, composition or process
  • An Innovation (Use)
    • more effective products, processes, services, technologies, or ideas that are readily available to markets, governments, and society
    • Enterprise (Undertaking)
    • A project, company, business, organization, or other purposeful endeavour.
  • An Enterprise
    • An undertaking, especially one of some scope, complication, and risk.
    • A business organization.
    • Industrious, systematic activity, especially when directed toward profit:.
    • Willingness to undertake new ventures; initiative


A successful Enterprise will require a good Idea enabled by either an invention or an innovation, or both It also requires a well-researched plan with a set of capable resources who  execute the plan well.

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