Feb 20

The moment I realized innovation isn’t everything

common sense

By Solomon Brenner

One of the best parts of my investment life is writing this blog. I love talking to people, hearing their perspective and sharing those insights with other fans of angel investing. This blog is truly a passion.

It should come as no surprise then that my favorite TV show is Shark Tank, the ultimate celebrity of our genre.

If being on shark tank is the Olympic gold of angel investing success, Barbara Corcoran is the Michael Phelps. With her personality, her presence, she is the face of angel investing. There are parts of the show that don’t ring true based on my personal experiences with investing, but it’s still informative and interesting for when my own money is involved.

I heard Corcoran say something recently I hadn’t heard before and wanted to share it here on this blog.. She was doing in an interview with Entrepreneur Magazine and she said “innovative” isn’t her criteria for investing in something. “I like to invest in something that makes good common sense,” she said.

I love that, the simple, calculated assessment of an opportunity, not the flashy excitement of the next new thing. An idea that’s executed well, has good design and sound marketing is a smart investment. A business born out of the brainpower of a highly motivated small business. In a world where disruption and innovation are buzzwords, it was remarkable to hear Corcoran go back to the basics. Even in a crowded market, there are good opportunities to take those customers by simply doing a better job and being a better company. A saturated market is worth investing in if the small business has a smart plan.

Common sense over innovation. In the end, the innovation isn’t necessarily the new invention or process. It’s seeing something new and valuable in what’s already in front of you.

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