The discovery and development of an invention are usually easier relative to the creativity and resources required to make it a commercial success. Indeed, many entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs struggle to commercialize their idea meaningfully—establish the idea’s marketability to prospective backers, engage potential customers, and price and promote their product or service for a favorable return on investment. Consider this case study of the Bombardier CSeries jets—fated for misfortune for many years only to morph into the successful Airbus A220 series:
As a country, we habitually underinvest in R&D. And, when domestic champions like Bombardier do emerge, they often prove unable to turn their great ideas into commercially successful, globally dominant businesses.
In a knowledge economy, a country’s future prosperity is increasingly tied to its ability to generate and capitalize on innovative new ideas.
“The paradox is that while there is innovation going on in Canada, we do not observe the same level of commercialization and ownership of those innovations [as in other countries]. In many cases, inventions developed in Canada are then commercialized by foreign companies that keep much of that benefit.”
Idea for Impact: Don’t let your idea fizzle because they can’t take your sizzle to market. Focus not just on overcoming internal barriers but also on how to commercialize your innovation. Hire outside capabilities if necessary.