Agents of Innovation

On the 11th of April 2015, I was honored and humbled to talk at TEDx Accra. My session was under Business Empowerment and I was very impressed with the organizers and the whole event. Here’s the script I used for my talk.

Innovation is critical to every country’s development and while we have many factors that affect the success of this happening, I would limit my talk to 3 main kinds of people. When we had the idea to start iSpace we were very excited about it. This is because we knew very well we were going to have a great effect in the ecosystem and how people innovated. We talked to all kinds of people to be sure the idea would work. This was very good because we were convinced right away that people needed us, at least for what we stand for in the ecosystem. We did all that we could to make sure iSpace happened, little did we know that we spent most of our time talking to the first kind of people. The talkers.
We did our research around many people but the talkers kept getting our attention. The talkers are those I would describe as having a million ideas and call themselves innovators and entrepreneurs but have never taken even the first step to execute their ideas. They like the idea of entrepreneurship but prefer their 9–5. There’s really nothing wrong with being a talker because while they keep talking about the many ideas that may have the next kind of people who affect innovation, The Dreamer most likely will pick it up and try executing it. The talkers are everywhere, from politics, in our schools, and even in church. And we have some of them right here in the crowd.
The Dreamer, who is a Parallel Entrepreneur, takes the idea to start something further. They sometimes have valid reasons for not taking the risk and jumping right into their idea full time. And this is ok, especially in an environment where everything is designed to break the spirit of the entrepreneur. They work full time and so work on their ideas and business part time. As and when they are able to steal sometime from their employers or squeeze in some time after work and weekends.
And then our favourite kind of people, the Doer. The full time entrepreneur. The risk takers. They go against all the obstacles in starting a business in our environment. These guys get right into their business with no excuses. In some cases they were once Dreamers who graduated into Doers. They have the attitude to do it regardless. If we had many of these doers in our country a lot of things will be so much better. We do need more of these guys.
It’s sometimes very possible to have people transition from talking, to dreaming about their ideas and then finally doing it. If you are an in any of the categories besides The Doer, I will urge you to put down the many foreign motivational books you have been reading. They hardly apply to our environment anyways and Just Do it.
Thank you.

Originally published at on April 12, 2015.

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