It’s raining. At last. After four months of winter in Johannesburg the rain has finally come. The August rain is the first sign of the change of season from winter to spring.
Outside in the garden the birds are twittering in the trees, dropping onto the ground to forage for food. A frog began croaking in the early hours of the morning in the rain after months of silence.
With his almost journalistic eye, Geoffrey Chaucer in the 1300s begins “The Canterbury Tales” with the promise of spring and its invigorating energies in nature:
“Whan that aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of march hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flour”
Even if you don’t know old English, you will be able to appreciate Chaucer’s delight in life despite his hard, cruel life.
His description of spring and the powerful energies in nature reminds me of new beginnings. What new beginnings will we make on our own pilgrimage this spring by finding new ways to create value for customers?
For entrepreneurs the beginning of new ventures in enterprise starts with new ideas. Yet ideas are worthless if you can’t materialise them or put them into action.
Entrepreneurship is about creating tangible value for customers. This usually takes the form of a product or service supported by a business model. The entrepreneur comes up with an innovative business model to create value from their ideas.
But it doesn’t mean that entrepreneurs have to necessarily come up with new ideas themselves. They can take an idea that has not worked well and turn it into a product or service that provides far greater value than anyone has delivered before.
Many such products spring to mind: the iPod, the iPhone, Starbucks and McDonalds. My blog posts over the past months cover innovators in Africa who have introduced new products such as banana flour, designer clothing and bicycles exported to Europe and the US.
Entrepreneurs innovate through the vehicle of a new venture. It takes hard work, resourcefulness, agility, speed and unconventional thinking to make a new venture successful.