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BRINGING INNOVATION TO MARKET

How Entrepreneurs Become Visionary Leaders

Picture your business helping millions of people solve a problem. Here's how to make that thought into a reality.
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As a child I experienced firsthand the severe effects of poverty and illiteracy, especially upon women and children. My parents taught me the importance of education and that it was a key to improving an individual’s life. Very early, it made me understand that success is simply not doled out but it must be earned through hard work, persistence, educational commitment, and even a little good luck and timing.

I worked for Microsoft until 1996, till I had a different angle to view life. I wanted to be an entrepreneur and control my own destiny. In some ways I was tired of making billions for Bill. I started off with a company, Infospace, with my own funding. The company was listed among the most successful companies and I went on to start Intelius and Moon Express. Now, I focus my time on using the skills of an entrepreneur to solve many of the grand challenges facing us in the areas of education, healthcare, clean water and energy.

Sometimes we never see what failure is and often fail to recognize it. Before defining failure we need to discuss what success is. Success is not about how much money we have in the bank but it’s about how many peoples’ lives we have impacted through it. Success is experienced when we do things which have never been done before.

If we want to impact hundreds or millions of people we have to do things differently. If we look at the problem as an infrastructural problem we cannot make an impact because it requires a lot of effort. But when we convert this problem into a knowledge problem, suddenly the problem is manageable.

Hence, it becomes important to realize what failure and success means to a person and what he does with it. It is the duty of every entrepreneur to go through this process of growth in order to fulfill his dreams.

An entrepreneur is not a person who starts a company but he is the person who actually solves a problem. It’s all about execution and it is a state of mind. A person who sees a problem is a Human Being; a person who finds a solution is visionary; and the person who goes out and does something about it is an entrepreneur.


IMAGE: Getty
Last updated: Dec 6, 2011

NAVEEN JAIN | Columnist | Founder and CEO of inome

Naveen Jain is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and technology pioneer. He is the founder of World Innovation Institute, Moon Express, inome, and InfoSpace.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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