Book Review|| Innovation and Entrepreneurship 

Author: Peter F. Drucker

Genre: Business, Non-Fiction


http://www.amazon.com


How I came about the book
A friend of mine mentioned it on Facebook and I decided to look it up online. Luckily, I found a free PDF version and I downloaded it.

Expectations
I’m honestly not a fan of business books. I just assume most of them would be boring and too technical with details for my liking, so I didn’t really know what to expect.

Observations
So it’s pretty much a book for serious minded individuals who want to do well in the business world.

Lessons
The lessons here are mostly about, but not limited to, business principles. There are one or more lessons that can be applied to personal development as well.

On Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is neither a science or an art, it is a practice.

– Not everyone who starts a new venture is an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur doesn’t even have to be a business owner.
– An Entrepreneur has to have special characteristics over being new or small.
– People who need certainty are unlikely to make good entrepreneurs.
– Entrepreneurship is more of behavior rather than personality trait.
– Entrepreneurship is about doing something different rather than doing what has been done better.
– Entrepreneurs see change as healthy and the norm. They search for it, respond to it and exploit it as an opportunity.
– Entrepreneurship is comparatively low risk than standard businesses. It is risky in theory because only few of the so-called entrepreneurs actually know what they are doing.
– Entrepreneurs who start with the idea that they’ll make it big and in a hurry, can be guaranteed failure.
– Successful entrepreneurs, whatever their individual motivation, try to create value and make a contribution.
– The right personality for entrepreneurship needs willingness, to learn, to work hard, to exercise self discipline, and to adapt and apply the right policies and practices. 

On Innovation
– Innovation is the specific tool of the entrepreneur.
– Innovation can be defined as changing the yield of resources i.e. the value and satisfaction of resources, obtained by the consumer.
-There’s no such thing as a resource until man finds a use for something and endows it with economic value.
– Innovation is both conceptual and perceptual.
– Successful innovations begin with a careful analysis of opportunities.
– For an innovation to be successful, it has to be simple but focused. A successful innovation does not try to do too many things at once.
– Everything new runs into trouble and if it’s complicated, it can’t be repaired.
– Unless there’s an immediate application to an innovation, it only remains a brilliant idea. Don’t try to innovate for the future, innovate for the present.
– Innovation depends not only on talent, ingenuity and knowledge, it also requires diligence, persistence and commitment.
– Convergence of knowledge is a tool for innovation. It is only by pulling different kinds of knowledge together that innovation is possible.
– Successful innovators are not risk-focused, they are opportunity-focused.
– Successful innovations exploit change. Change is what always provides opportunity for the new and different.
– A good innovator need not always try to understand why things do not work as they should. He should rather ask, what would convert this incongruity into an opportunity? 

On Unexpected Success
– Learn to take unexpected success seriously. If a new aspect of your business begins to work more than the mainstream, do your best to capitalize on it rather than suppress it.
– Unexpected success is often a limitation on the management’s vision, knowledge and understanding. In reality a product line can have uses that were not originally envisaged.
– Unexpected success is not just an opportunity for innovation, it demands innovation.
– The unexpected success is an opportunity but it makes demands that must be taken seriously. It demands seriousness and support that is equal to the size of the opportunity.

On Unexpected Failure
– Failures, unlike success, cannot be rejected and rarely go unnoticed. But they are seldom seen as symptoms of opportunity.
– One rule of failure is that the assumptions on which a product or service were based may no longer fit reality.
– The unexpected failure doesn’t demand more study or analysis, but it demands that you go out more, look around more, and listen more.
– Failure should always be considered as a symptom of innovative opportunity, and taken seriously as such.

theentrepreneurafrica.com



On Market Research
– A research is often needed to convert a process from potential into reality.
– Need is a source of innovation just as necessity is the mother of invention.
– It is not enough for a need to be felt, it also must be understood. Without understanding a problem, we may never be able to find a lasting solution.
– It is possible to understand the need but have no knowledge to make a difference.
– Any innovative solution has to fit the values of the intended consumers.
– Often old businesses cling to serving the old market the old way, while paying little attention to the new challenge.
– People running a new venture need to spend time outside, in the market place, looking and listening.


On Diligence in Business

– The extraordinary innovator will be effective only if grounded in the master and discipline of the innovation.
– Innovative opportunities come and go as the breeze.
– Being alert to opportunity sets successful innovators apart.
– Bright ideas are the riskiest and least successful source of innovative opportunities. Bright ideas are vague and elusive.
– Innovations which are as the result of a flash of genius rather than hard, organised and purposeful work, cannot be replicated.
– Innovators improve with practice, but only if they practice the right method.

On Business Forecast
– Nothing so powerfully concentrates a manager’s mind on innovation as the knowledge that his present product or service will become obsolete in the foreseeable future.
– All existing products and services have limited life expectancy.

On Business Expectations and Problem-solving
– Problems have to be paid attention to and tackled, but if they are the only things being discussed, opportunities will die of neglect.
– To be successful one must learn to ask those who have succeeded, what they did to succeed.
– What works best in a going, established business, would kill an infant business. A new business shouldn’t be burdened by a compensation load it cannot yet carry.
– It is to be expected that for a long time the new endeavor will show neither profit nor growth, it only absorbs resources.
– A failure to achieve an objective after repeated tries should be viewed as an indication that the objective is wrong or at least defined wrongly.

It is irrational to consider failure a good reason to keep trying again and again

– According to Mathematicians, the probability of success diminishes with each successive try.

On Starting Up
– An innovation is expected to start small but end big.
– Unless a new venture develops into a new business, it will not survive no matter how brilliant its entrepreneurial idea is.
– When a new venture succeeds, more often than not, it’s in a market other than the one it was originally meant to serve.
– Anything genuinely new creates markets that nobody before even imagined.
– A new venture should be willing to experiment.
– A new business must start with the assumption that its product/service may find customers in markets no one thought of.

On Business Financing
– The more successful a new venture is becoming, the more dangerous its lack of financial foresight.
– Profit is a wrong focus for the new venture, and should come rather last, than first.
– Growth in a new venture demands adding financial resources rather than taking out of it.
– If the growing venture shows an unusual “profit” it is a fiction, a bookkeeping attempt to balance the accounts.
– The healthier a new venture and the faster it grows, the more financial feeding it requires.
– A growing venture should know 12 months ahead of time how much cash it will need, when and for what purposes.
– Raising cash in a hurry and in a crisis is never easy and always prohibitively expensive.
– The new venture is almost always under cash pressure, when the opportunities are greatest.
– As a venture grows, private sources of funds (savings, family) become inadequate. Hence capital planning is a survival necessity.
– Financial foresight does not require a great deal of time, but does require a great deal of thought.

On Management Strategies
– It is important to build a top management team before the venture reaches the point where it must have one.
– Management of finance and Management of people (customers, employees) are by far the two most important areas a venture’s management team should be concerned with.
– It is the management’s responsibility to set goals and objectives for specific areas and assign to each member taking primary responsibility for it.
– A growing venture has need for independent, objective outside advice. Sometimes someone who is not a part of the problem can offer better insights to its solution.
– Only when people with performance capacity and the right tools have been assigned to a project, do we have a plan. Until then al we have are good intentions.
– A new venture must prepare itself for the demands and responsibility its own success will make of it.
– An innovator has to run even harder once it has attained a leadership position or else it only creates a market for its contributors.

 Building a managerial team is like preventive medicine.


On Creative Imitation
– Creative imitation describes a strategy that waits until someone else has established something new, then goes on to make it better.
– Creative imitation does not exploit the failure of the pioneers, but on the contrary, their success.
– The creative imitator does not invent a product or service, he perfects it by supplying something that is lacking.
– The creative imitator looks at products or services from the viewpoint of the customer.
– It focuses on the market rather than the product. It satisfies a demand that already exists rather than creating one.

On Avoidable Business Pitfalls
– Beware of man’s typical pride of doing things the hard way.
– Quality is not defined by how hard/how much it costs to make a product.
– Quality in a product is not what the supplier puts in, but what the customer gets out and is willing to pay for it.
– It’s not only criminals who are set in their habits, most businesses are.
– Don’t just explain away failure. Learn to find out why something didn’t work and what you can/should do about it.
– Beware of the arrogance that something new cannot be good unless they themselves thought of it first.
– Beware of Creaming, an attempt to get paid for past contributions.

On Customer Satisfaction and Making Profit
– Businesses are not paid to reform customers, they are paid to satisfy customers.
– A product or service is defined by the customer, not by the producer.
– The best way to get higher profit margins is through lower costs.
– In trying to satisfy everybody you eventually satisfy nobody.
– It is not good enough to offer the same product or the same service at a lower cost. There has to be something that distinguishes it from what already exists.
– It’s better to price what the customer buys than what the manufacturer sells.
– Whatever customers buy has to fit their realities or it’s of no use to them

There are no irrational customers, there are only lazy manufacturers.


On Knowledge Acquisition
– An entrepreneur needs to take responsibility for his/her own continuous learning and relearning.
– An entrepreneur challenges habits and assumptions of schooling.
– The fact is that what individuals learn becomes obsolete a few years after and needs to be replaced or at least refurbished- by new learning, skills and knowledge.

Challenges
It was a very long read. It took every ounce of determination to complete the book.

Who should read this book?
Every “Wannabe” Entrepreneur that needs an advantage in the business world.

Recommendation
For Start ups, Young business owners and those in managerial positions.

***
I hope you enjoyed this review.

What other business book(s) have you read? Which do you recommend?

Cheers!

:::requ1ne:::
❤️❤️❤️

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THE HEENSPIRE STORY- Meet the Founder & CMO of HEENSPIRE Foods Company, Badejoko Adewale.

Hello people, so I had the opportunity to do this interview article for one of my great friends on social media, who inspires me a lot. He’s a young and passionate Christian, with a dynamic personality. He is also a budding entrepreneur who started a Food Company in Nigeria, last year.


In this interview he talks briefly about himself, why he decided to venture into starting a food company, and the kind of products the company offers. 

My questions are in BOLD letters while his answers have been italicized.

Enjoy reading! 

“Growing up, I nursed the secret ambition of finding cure for HIV/AIDS, quite lofty a dream for a child you’d agree, and I had it written and plastered at the back of my room’s door. Funny, none of my family member suffered from the disease, I just felt I could really be useful doing something truly great and remarkable for humanity. Well, that dream led me straight to medical school, but I guess it wasn’t strong enough to keep me there.”

1. How would you describe your amazing self? What was your favorite childhood dream of who you wanted to be in the future? 

Adewale: I’m a god-loving young man, note I didn’t say god-fearing, and if there’s anything I’m eager to tell anyone about me it would be that singular fact. I have a wide wild taste to things and as such I don’t have “favorites”. Too bad! No favorite food, color, movie, bible verse, cloths e.t.c. none, although I have some pretty high standards I must say. My philosophy to life is simple: what would Jesus do. So basically it’s the only question I ask myself in any situation. Lately I get to be called an “entrepreneur”a lot, but if there’s anything I’d rather be known by, it would be that guy that believes even the best can be made better, so I guess that makes me an entrepreneur right? *laughs* Growing up, I nursed the secret ambition of finding cure for HIV/AIDS, quite lofty a dream for a child you’d agree, and I had it written and plastered at the back of my room’s door. Funny, none of my family member suffered from the disease, I just felt I could really be useful doing something truly great and remarkable for humanity. Well, that dream led me straight to medical school, but I guess it wasn’t strong enough to keep me there.

 

2. Can you tell us a bit about Heenspire foods and what brought about the idea?

 

Adewale: After graduation, I had branched out into business and was consulting for some clients. I was required to take some trips around the country and it was perhaps on these many trips that I got an understanding to a common problem in Nigeria’s food/agriculture sector, but on one of those trips, to Lagos precisely, the light bulb moment came. The problem identified is that of wastage across our food chain which ubiquitously has its effects even on our health. Nigerian’s don’t get to enjoy enough good food at affordable prices because the bulk of the produce gets wasted even before its arrival to the local market. At the local market, the food becomes ridiculously expensive because everyone along the food chain (the farmer, the drivers, the traders and the many unseen market forces), tries to make profits from the small bits remaining. The customer at the table end now bears the brunt and since she has to eat, she has little choice. Realizing a solution is expedient, I sought simple ways to improve accessibility and affordability of agricultural produce and that gave rise to Heenspire Foods®. So Heenspire Foods at its core turns agricultural produce that could have gone to waste into healthy food products offering them at affordable price.

 

3. I know you studied Human Physiology as a discipline, how did you get from there to where you are now? 

 

Adewale: “All things work together for the good of those that love God and are called according to His purpose.” About and upon the time of completion of my undergraduate studies, I’d became interested in entrepreneurship; it was a concept so nascent and burgeoning in Nigeria at the time. The sparks came as a result of so many things; my parent owned some side-business and a course I took as an undergraduate also spirited it. After school I started reading, voraciously I must confess, about business and entrepreneurship, it became so natural to me that I could care less about the hours I spent studying. Entrepreneurship became so scientific and every bit artistic, that I could explain with the finest of human words its beauty, after a while I took the bold step to practice some of the things I’d learnt. Trust me; reading isn’t nearly as fun as doing. Interestingly, physiology gave me my first business opportunity and we haven’t looked back ever since.

 

4. What kind of products does your company offer? And how do you reach your customers?

 

Adewale: Currently we produce some variance of healthy snack on a budget. These are 100% organic fruit mixes, neatly crafted and delivered fresh to our customers. Our products are doses of vitamins and nutrients on the go, and are unbelievably affordable! The inspiration was simply to provide the Nigerian worker a daily serving of nutrients, pure and organic, even as they go about to achieve greatness for themselves. Customers could either subscribe to any of our fruity plans and get the products delivered to their office or simply locate our On-The-Go sales representatives to make instant purchase.


 

 

5. In a population as large and diverse as Nigeria, who are your target customers? And how affordable are your products?

 

Adewale: Our current offerings are targeted towards the Nigerian working class and young adults resident in major cities, lacking access to healthy organic food products. Our vision on the long run is to have healthy product offerings for every Nigerian, both young and old; we believe that every human being irrespective of social class deserves access to good food that promotes growth and development. The issue of food products being affordable is quite dear to me; it was a key reason why I started Heenspire Foods®. Come to think of it, where in this present Nigeria will you be able to buy 6 different types of fruits with 150 naira? But with the vision we’ve got, our customers get to enjoy the taste and nutrients of these fruits and that’s not all, customers who purchase any of our fruity subscriptions get to have their product delivered to their offices at no extra charge.

 

6. What is your biggest secret in succeeding as a newbie entrepreneur? And what are some of the obstacles you have faced?

 

Adewale: Quite frankly, success in business isn’t a function of one thing, it’s a combination of numerous efforts, efforts including marketing, product development, effective distribution channels, customer relations, personnel management, branding, sales and so many more, but for me, the total package I’ve found is in Jesus, He’s my biggest open secret. There’s a theory I’m currently developing, it’s called “Hustlebility”, it’s the degree of an entrepreneur’s resolution to make anything happen; anything is possible depending on the entrepreneur’s hustle ability to make his vision come alive. Of course I read a lot, I’m never averse to learning, it’s my way of maintaining my youthfulness and staying ahead of the curve. As for obstacles, they are quite abounding especially for a startup in this present economy, one that could be termed critical would be the sustainability of my supply chain. I have to think about where the raw materials are coming from, who’s growing them so I could be able to guarantee quality at the table’s end.

 

7. Who are your influences? And is there one person in particular that inspires you the most?

 

Adewale: I’m not the type of person given to role modelling, I believe in the peculiarity of the individual, nonetheless I’ve learnt (and still learning) a lot from different persons at different times, not necessarily just entrepreneurs, and I’ve found ways to cross-pollinate those lessons into business. Peter Drucker, Brian Tracy, Daymond John, Al Ries, Ayorinde Olukunle, Philip Kotler, and Adeniyi Oluwaseun, who by the way is my partner-in-entrepreneurship, are some of the many persons that have been helpful along my entrepreneurial journey.

 

 

8. With your background in health sciences, are there any health benefits to the products your company offers?

 

Adewale: When it comes to food, its all about health and wellness, other reasons are secondary. What’s the point of an unhealthy food? If it’s not healthy we don’t produce it, it’s a policy we abide by. All our products have health benefits and we don’t just stop at the level of serving these products alone, we go the extra mile to educate customers too. We have a nutrition education program and we use this platform to properly educate consumers about their health and the nutrition benefits of the food they eat, and the feedback has been tremendously great. We are making the consumers health conscious, to care about the source of their food. It’s a healthy food revolution we are inspiring.


 

9. What are some of the challenges currently facing the food industry in Nigeria? And what are the strategies you think should be put in place?

Adewale: All the way from farm to table there are numerous challenges. For one, we haven’t found effective ways to make fruits and agric produce available all year round, the adverse effect is that food produce become expensive when they are off season. There’s the challenge of distribution, there’s also the challenge of standards, visit the local market and you’ll cry to see how food are treated, it’s a show of disrespect for consumers. There’s the challenge of wastage. Our foods haven’t evolved enough to meet today’s nutritional needs. There’s the challenge of preference for foreign food products over those produced locally. So you see the challenges are numerous, and since they didn’t start overnight you don’t expect them disappear overnight. If we understand the concept of value chain properly, then maybe we can get the problems fixed.  


 

10. How do you see Heenspire Foods™ in the next 5 years?

 

Adewale: We hope by then to be serving in 15 major cities in Nigeria. Most certainly our products  would have evolved, some healthy food product range we intend to have launched, and of course the level of our impact in the course of spiriting a healthy generation increased.

 

Me: Thank you for your time.

Adewale: the pleasure is mine; I’ve had fun telling the Heenspire story.



***

:::Requ1ne:::