In visiting with the founders of a few new startups recently, I sadly discovered that the most frequently expressed “business plan” involved building a product markedly similar to an existing, successful one. Even more disappointing, none of the plans focused on improving the copied product but rather in duplicating its functionality to the point of attracting sufficient attention to result in the company being acquired, allowing the founder to cash out. Money reigned supreme over innovation. Endeavoring to expand functionality or improve a concept was shunned in favor of seeking a quick buyout and a big payday.
The thrill and pride of creating something unique, like a piece of art, was absent. Money, from imitation not invention or innovation, was the resounding mantra. The shortcut to success by today’s standard. It only takes a little more work than playing Lotto, with about the same odds of winning.
Where is the next Steve Jobs whose passion fueled his novelty and imagination? The realization of his dreams yielded magnificent offerings. With strokes of brilliant, driven creativity, he changed our world.
What does the future hold without the likes of Jobs? Ask Siri the next time you use your iPhone.
. . .