Cleantech junkies like myself get seduced by all sorts of neat-o new technological ideas. But, we need to bear in mind that technology invention is only a part of commercial success — and in fact, arguably not even the most important part.
This perspective is brilliantly put forth in a brief essay called “A History Lesson for the Cleantech Revolution” by Andrew Hargadon, Senior Fellow of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and Professor of Entrepreneurship and Technology Management at the Graduate School of Management at the University of California Davis.
It’s a short but great read, with three major points:
- Business models are more important than inventions.
- Innovation is about connecting, not inventing.
- Innovation is action: learning-by-doing, learning by using.
Important for those of us in the cleantech community to keep reminding ourselves: it’s not just the technologies, stupid!