Why Business Ideas Are Not The Same As Business Opportunities – Forbes India

Why business ideas are not the same as business opportunities
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“Venture ideas take inspiration. Venture opportunities need perspiration.”
Ideas are not the same as opportunities. Starting a new venture requires time and effort. But this seemingly obvious statement has led to confusion among entrepreneurs and academics.

Many budding entrepreneurs believe that an idea alone will guarantee them success and wealth. What they ignore, however, is that it takes time, effort and resources to turn a venture idea into a venture opportunity – and that not every idea will automatically turn into an opportunity.

The same holds true for the academic community. Over the past two decades there has been plenty of research about entrepreneurial opportunities, but relatively little progress was made in our understanding of what an opportunity actually is. What’s more, debates about opportunity have happened largely within the academic community without trying to make them relevant to entrepreneurs, practitioners and teachers. One illustration of this is the long-running theoretical debate about whether opportunities are discovered or created.

I’m an entrepreneur myself and have always felt that these arguments were not relevant to me and my business. Instead of discussing philosophical questions, we should be trying to create meaningful frameworks: tools that help entrepreneurs and academics to understand the potential of an idea to become an actual opportunity. By borrowing concepts from the creativity and innovation literature, and by differentiating between ideas and opportunities, I created a framework that includes these different literature streams and provides a meaningful basis for academics, entrepreneurs and lecturers alike in that it helps assess when an idea becomes an actual opportunity. Here I’ll explain the broad principles of this framework.
[This article has been reproduced with permission from IMD, a leading business school based in Switzerland. http://www.imd.org]
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