A person buys a second-hand business. He or she takes the business over from the previous owner and trades. Another person buys the same second-hand business but looks for ways to improve it, create new revenue streams and perhaps even ready it for possible expansion or franchising.
Which is the more innovative business person?
When I was at school the creative side and the arts was seen as frivolous things. Much more important were the so-called “STEM” subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Later in business and small business it seemed like creativity and business were like oil and water. But nowadays are these stereotypes and false education real?
Take a product like the iPhone and just imagine how much creativity was used to conceptualise, develop and manufacture it. Through the creativity of the people who worked on the product and the business brains that have marketed it and positioned the product it is in a category of its own. The iPhone has become a major phenomenon. Here we have an example of creative brilliance mixed with business brilliance that has earned millions of dollars for the company.
In these times you also see a lot of creative artists who are now taking their business side more seriously. Some are breaking away from the stronghold of the book publishers and music producers and going it alone because of the the new digital technologies and Internet platforms that are available. Here we see so-called “creative” people who are producers of fresh, new material and increasingly learning how to reap their just reward from their creative efforts rather than having it stolen by some greedy middleman.
We also see how in cities like Berlin there is more appreciation of the creative industries including fine arts, performing arts, music, TV, radio, film, newspapers and magazines, design and fashion. By encouraging these creative industries together with digital technology start-ups Berlin has also been able to benefit from increased tourism job creation and rejuvenation in parts of the city.
It’s no wonder that even Nobel laureates in economics are now suggesting that labour markets today not only need more technical expertise but require an increasing number of soft skills such as the ability to think imaginatively, develop creative solutions to complex challenges and adapt to changing circumstances and new constraints.
As Edmund Phelps says countries worldwide can use the humanities to develop or revive the economy is that drove the ascent of the modern world while helping individuals to lead more productive and fulfilling lives. Creative entrepreneurs are needed to connect the dots, push the boundaries eschew anything that didn’t work in the past and open up new frontiers for small business people.