In his book titled “Innovation and Entrepreneurship”, Peter F. Drucker describes an entrepreneur as not just someone who starts his own, new and small business: You can be a corporate employee and still be entrepreneurial. He further states that not every new small business is entrepreneurial because entrepreneurship is the practice of consistently converting good ideas into profitable commercial ventures. This excludes that umpteenth lechon manok restaurant that opened downtown or that new sari-sari store that’s the 25th to open within a 200-meter radius but includes McDonald’s for (profitably) transforming fast food into what it is today.
In the same book, Prof. Drucker challenges common knowledge by showing, through real-world examples, that innovation does not have to be technical, and does not have to be a “thing” altogether. Rather, he defines innovation as the systematic act of turning “something” (product, idea, information, technology, etc.) into a resource that is of high value to its target market. He cites the example of transforming bauxite–formerly considered a nuisance because it did nothing but make land infertile–to aluminum which is now considered important to the world economy because of its many applications.
Technology is not necessarily “hi-tech”, indeed does not always have to be technical. Technology is simply defined as applications of knowledge to human work. Thus accounting, Economic Order Quantity, word-of-mouth marketing, and well-defined mentoring programs are all technologies.
What is technopreneurship then?
As I understand it, technopreneurship is, by a large part, still entrepreneurship. The difference is that technopreneurship is either involved in delivering an innovative hi-tech product (e.g. Intel) or makes use of hi-tech in an innovative way to deliver its product to the consumer (e.g. eBay), or both (e.g. most pharmaceutical companies).
Update (2008 Jan 15) I’ve come to the realization that Technopreneurship and Entrepreneurship are one and the same. More here.
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Peter F. Drucker
- Technopreneurship by Manuel Cereijo
- MSc TIP Program in the Nanyang Technopreneurship Center
- The Call to Entrepreneurship by John Gokongwei