Are Entrepreneurs Always Inventors?

Are Entrepreneurs Always Inventors?

testing invention


Are Entrepreneurs Always Inventors?


Not all entrepreneurs are inventors and not all inventors are entrepreneurs. However, the contribution of both is essential to make any venture successful. The two have a synergetic and symbiotic relationship between them which can help build a sustainable business. The contribution of both is needed in the entrepreneurial ecosystem to explore new ways and solve problems effectively.

Entrepreneurs don’t have to be inventors, here’s why 

Sometimes an entrepreneur thinks that they need to design something novel to be successful. That’s a myth. Every entrepreneur is not an inventor. Coming up with a new idea or product is great; however, entrepreneurship is more about innovations that improve lives and not necessarily inventions.

A lot of flourishing entrepreneurs pursue profitable opportunities by improving on known products and services. Some entrepreneurs are between the inventor and improver. They are involved in building enterprises by using other people’s inventions. This is how they bring something new to the marketplace.

Therefore entrepreneurship is not just about an idea and its cost-effective-monetization. It requires the skills and the collaborative efforts of both the inventor and entrepreneur to turn the idea into a business.

Sometimes an individual can encompass the qualities of both, or varying degrees of these attributes. But many successful entrepreneurs are not inventors. They use creative ideas, modify and innovate to suit the market demand.

Entrepreneurs and Inventors-what do they do

The meanings of the terms “Entrepreneurs” and “Inventors” are often confused. To understand the role and responsibilities these two perform in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, you need to first understand the general description of both.


Innovation is the kernel of an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Inventors are responsible for creating new solutions for anticipated or existing problems. They are usually focused on a tangible creation. Inventors have expertise in identifying problems and creating solutions for them.

engineer and new invention


The entrepreneur is an innovator who creates economically sustainable business using his skills, initiative and resources. He anticipates needs and builds a business around it. The focus of an entrepreneur is the execution of new ideas, services, goods and procedures in the market.

Although the role of entrepreneurs and inventors is intertwined there is a remarkable difference that exists between the roles of the two. Let us see their roles in comparison to each other.


Entrepreneur and Inventor- A Comparison

Inventor Entrepreneurs
Possesses a high degree of technical expertise The entrepreneur is adaptive and versatile
Laser focus in providing a solution Flexible & nimble, responding to changing priorities.
Works in an autonomous environment Thrive on collaboration
Normally visionary, but can be single-focused Coachable, humble, actively solicits input from past
The inventor creates The entrepreneur leads
Does cutting edge research Identifies & builds economically viable networks
Establishes proof of concept Establishes teams, channels, and markets

From the above descriptions and comparison, we can conclude that both inventors and entrepreneurs are essential for a dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem. Each is needed to explore new ways to solve problems. Both are needed to effectively deliver solutions to improve the quality of life.

Entrepreneur and Inventor- Interdependence

Inventors develop and invent new products whereas entrepreneurs build companies around those products. An inventor invariably needs an entrepreneur to attract investors. On the other hand, an entrepreneur without an inventor is devoid of a scalable solution.

To work in concert, an inventor can generate robust ideas and the entrepreneur can find the most promising prospects to translate them to economic success. Entrepreneurs always take up what has already been created. Then he builds organizations around them.  This is how they bring these inventions to scale. An entrepreneur focuses on the cost-effective execution of ideas to meet customer demands.

Entrepreneur and Inventor- Interchangeable roles

Capitalism in America: A History- a book co-written by Adrian with Alan Greenspan has mentioned the relationship that exists between the inventors and entrepreneurs. The authors have mentioned that it’s easy to think of these two as interchangeable as both are visionaries. They work aggressively to make the vision a reality and map out a future around the product. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Rockefeller have both been entrepreneurs and inventors.

Understanding Entrepreneurs

Like any other field, entrepreneurship also has

two persons looking at graphs

processes, case studies, or models. These traits are required to be acquired through a learning process.

A study has shown that entrepreneurs can be produced. Entrepreneurs are not limited to a certain race, group, region, or set of individuals. Entrepreneurs can be highly educated professionals and well-versed with sociable skills. They are now viewed as professionals with excellent communication skills who strive in the economic development of the community, country or humanity at large.

Entrepreneurs focus almost exclusively on trying to take a product and fit it into a market. He is involved in commercializing the product by various marketing tools and practices. To promote the product and expand its reach amongst the customers, entrepreneurs usually create companies. This is one of the reasons why most individuals who create startups are considered to be entrepreneurs.

What Characteristics Do Entrepreneurs Need?

To be a successful entrepreneur, the main characteristics that an individual should possess include being passionate, flexible, forward-thinking, and hard-working. He should adapt to the frequent changes in the market and evolve new strategies and processes to absorb the impact. Unlike inventors who work in an autonomous environment, entrepreneurs cherish collaborative associations. They usually seek advice and take inputs from established entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs have the following complementary but different set of strengths and weaknesses as compared to inventors:

  •       Lots of ideas but unwavering focus- Entrepreneurs are idea people. However, they are unable to focus as they carry a lot of half-baked ideas. They need collaboration with someone with a focus to avoid efforts and time.
  •       Aim the big picture, not good with details- An entrepreneur always has a “vision” of a bright future. But many fail, as they don’t like to deal with the details. Sometimes they lack vision or the skill, so the business suffers.
  •       Good at starting and establishing a business An entrepreneur reads and plans everything they can find on running a business. They love discussing their business and product, and dream of having a strong base of customers.
  •       Too optimistic and exaggerate Exaggeration, denials and pipe dreaming, are the tools and comforts of entrepreneurship

Understanding Inventors

Becoming an inventor means trying to convert ideas into products. An inventor is a creative individual who invents a new product. In most cases, an inventor is not interested in placing the invention on the market for commercialization. Inventors do not plan or strategize about what comes after the invention has been made.

To be a successful inventor, he needs to be courageous and passionate. Due to the failure rate that an inventor experiences, courage is the main characteristic that matters the most. Normally an inventor experiences a lot of setbacks while turning ideas into inventions.

What Characteristics Do Inventors Need?

Inventors need to be tunnel-visioned and singularly focused. They are visionaries but they are primarily focused on the invention rather than the monetization of the product. For inventors to be successful, it is imperative to fall in love with their ideas and recreate them in the form of products. Passion is the driving force and no failure or any setback deters the focus with which an inventor pursues his passion.

new idea

Here are a few of the attributes of a good inventor:

  •       One idea, one focus- Inventors are known for perseverance. They have a strong personal conviction that something is possible. An inventor knows precisely how things work. They build solutions to a problem.
  •       Good with details- Inventor is immaculate about details. Good inventors love to put out all the details and algorithms. They get the reward from finding new ways of getting things done.
  •       Creative and artistic- Undoubtedly the inventors are creative and artistic. They are not interested in sales. Making a profit doesn’t interest them.
  •       Realistic if not pessimistic- Every inventor, programmer, musician, and artist can’t schedule invention. Nobody can commit to a completion date. They always dream of an unlimited budget. They are mentally convinced that many attempts will be required.

Entrepreneurs are not always Inventors

So, you have seen that there is much more to entrepreneurship than simply a great idea. The discipline and creativity of an inventor are required to run a successful business. The planning, vision, and optimism of an entrepreneur are needed to create customer value.

Having gone through the role and responsibilities of both inventors and entrepreneurs, you can say that not all entrepreneurs are inventors and they need not be. However, for any venture to be successful the contribution of both is required. The success of any enterprise is a total of collaborative efforts and skills of both, the inventor and the entrepreneurs

Both inventors and entrepreneurs may be able to come up with new ideas and share some common characteristics, however, inventors are usually focused on the tangible invention, while entrepreneurs are more focused on the business opportunity.

Entrepreneurs procure, organize and manage resources to bring a product to market, without necessarily having invented the product. Inventors are interested in developing a new product but not necessarily commercializing it.

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"I'm an enthusiastic blog writer who loves exploring the world of entrepreneurship. I enjoy breaking down complex business ideas into easy-to-understand articles, helping aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs find their way. My goal is to inspire creativity, share practical advice, and connect with fellow business enthusiasts."

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