Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton provides insights for leaders from Gallup’s work around the world
Creative Disrupters and Innovators
Shawn Fanning, the creator of Napster, appeared on the covers of Time, Fortune, and BusinessWeek before he could legally buy a beer. In 1994, John Doerr, a venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, met a twenty-three-year-old Marc Andreessen, who confidently declared that “his software would change the world.” Their company, Netscape, went on to a record-shattering initial public offering in 1995. Like Edison in search of the electric light bulb, seeing only a better way to illuminate a room, these entrepreneurs are a rare breed, living on the creative edge. Most often, these brilliant “entrepreneurial-engineers” look to technology to solve problems in ways that “unlock value.” They are visitors from the future, living among us here and now. They have an optimistic passion for an idea that borders on the embarrassing and a restless urge to make a difference in the world. They bring us innovations that will have a deep impact on how we live, work, and think in the decades ahead.
Growth doesn’t just happen, and it’s not necessarily driven by demand. Growth comes from innovation and from entrepreneurs who create demand. Just look at the iPhone. Apple’s Steve Jobs didn’t create it because there was an insatiable demand for this world-changing device. People didn’t even know what an iPhone was until Apple put it on the market, and now they can’t buy enough of them — and Apple has a nearly $500 billion market capitalization.
How much demand was there for Facebook before Mark Zuckerberg created it? Zero. Most consumers didn’t know what social networking was before their friends started signing up for Facebook.
Examples are everywhere of entrepreneurship and innovation driving demand: the dot-com bubble of the 1990s, for instance, which lifted America out of a recession and ignited one of the country’s great bull runs, producing Amazon, Google, Yahoo, and literally thousands of other businesses. The Internet itself didn’t spring up from consumer demand. Nor did the transistor, the automobile, the airplane — you get the picture.
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SOURCE: gcase.org, Gallup.com