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How to Tap Into Innovation, the Most Essential Part of Your Entrepreneurial Journey

Jacob Scott

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

To be a successful entrepreneur, you have to be skilled in many different areas. You have to be a forward thinker, a problem solver and a strong leader. If I ask you to list all the different skills that make up a thriving entrepreneur, would a skilled innovator be at the top of your list?

I consider myself an accidental innovator. I never set out to discover the solution to climate change. I was simply wanting to find a way to help my car get better gas mileage. When I set out to solve a small problem, I had no idea that it was going to grow and change into something that would benefit all of humanity. Once I started down the path of discovering the solution to climate change, innovations continued to take shape. By that one simple step, I have established a company that is now attracting investors, shareholders and growing more than I could have ever imagined.

To truly understand the pivotal role that innovation plays, it’s vital to define what innovation is to an entrepreneur. Innovation is the creation or the development of an idea that is useful for humanity, but it can sometimes come out of nowhere. In fact, many innovations happened because people were in the right place, at the right time, and they refused to give up when they were faced with obstacles. Isaac Newton developed his theory of gravity by watching an apple fall. Thomas Edison tested thousands of prototypes of the lightbulb before he discovered one that would work the way he desired. What Newton and Edison have in common with entrepreneurs like you and myself is the unfailing desire to reach a solution that will better humanity as a whole.

Related: The Power of Innovation

So how do you innovate?

Set yourself apart

The way that we build our business and our brands is by setting ourselves apart from the masses. Innovation is simply deciding that you’re going to do something different and that you’re willing to be flexible throughout the process. You want to build a business that is thriving, attracting investors and attention. You have to find your niche. Do something that no one else is doing. Be willing to go to the edge, where others have given up, and then keep going.

Innovation is a journey

Start with an objective, but be prepared when it begins to change directions. You simply cannot dream of where your business and your vision will take you in the next five, 10 or 20 years. Things will change. Values will change. You will have periods of immense growth and times that are slow. The key in all of this is to expect the unexpected. When something unexpected happens, reevaluate, reinvent, change directions and look for new opportunities. There will be unexpected twists and turns in your journey. More than likely, you will end up somewhere you didn’t envision from the start, but it will be so much better than what you could have imagined.

Embrace the growth

Your innovation is an ongoing, dynamic process. It’s constantly growing and expanding. You are looking for ways to improve upon the original ideal while also leaving room for what will come from that. Any innovation that you have will create new innovations. And those innovations will bring new opportunities to you. This could be a new business model, new investors to work with or even the opportunity to become a leading expert in your field.

Related: Starting a Business? Here’s How Innovation Will Take You Ahead

Don’t go it alone

You cannot succeed alone. Innovation attracts like-minded people who are there to help bring your innovation to life. There are geniuses in the same field all around you, and they will be attracted to your vision. When you start telling people about what you are working on, they will have ways to improve and expand upon it. Sometimes these people need your vision to complete a challenging puzzle they have been working on themselves. It is vital that you utilize the people that are put in your path to help your innovation grow into what it’s meant to be.

You will attract what you need

Innovation (and the universe) is built around the laws of attraction. The way that the sun corresponds with the planets and the galaxies are all based around the idea of attraction. As an entrepreneur, you’re on your own journey and, in essence, you are the center of your own universe. When you’re committed to serving humanity, your industry and the earth itself, you will find that you’re attracting the right things at exactly the right time. You will find the people that you need to complete your vision, and most of the time, the universe hands them to you on a silver platter. You just have to recognize them when they show up. This is where innovation is born.

As entrepreneurs, we have a vital role in the future of the world. If entrepreneurs don’t innovate, then humanity won’t evolve. If the lightbulb hadn’t come about, we would still be in the dark. If I hadn’t gone on a quest for better gas mileage, I would have never known that there could be a solution to climate change. Every single innovation, project and business that we start is moving humanity forward. You are helping us make strides in technology, systems and software that will literally change the world as we know it. The innovating entrepreneurs that have gone before us have created so many wonderful things that have made our lives so much more effective and efficient. Now it is up to us to continue on our individual journeys. There is nothing more significant we could be doing than improving humanity and the earth for all of mankind.

Related: 4 Ways Market Leaders Use Innovation to Foster Business Growth

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‘Moon Knight’ Took Marvel in a Different Orbit, but It Didn’t Rise to the Occasion

Jacob Scott

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Before anyone writes that off as an anomaly, “Eternals” tackled a similar introduction of a dense mythology on the bigger screen, with equally mixed results. It’s a reminder that while film-goers have had more than a decade to get to know characters like Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, introducing some of these lesser-known heroes can pose a more formidable challenge beyond catering to the most ardent fans.
For Marvel, there are warning signs in that, since “Moon Knight” will be followed by several series based on second-tier characters, although the next two on the horizon, “Ms. Marvel” (which is due in June) and “She-Hulk,” at least have the benefit of sharing franchises and name recognition with existing Avengers.
Ultimately, “Moon Knight’s” murky storytelling appeared to squander its principal assets, which included the cool look of the character — a costume that was too seldom used — and the presence of Isaac, who possesses additional genre credentials via the “Star Wars” sequels.

Taking its time in peeling back the layers of the character’s complicated backstory, “Moon Knight” took a weird plunge into the Egyptian mythology behind it, in ways that became increasingly confounding and surreal.

By the time the protagonist’s two halves, Steven Grant and Marc Spector, wound up in a psychiatric hospital talking to an anthropomorphic hippo in the penultimate chapter, the question wasn’t so much being able to keep up with the story as whether bothering to do so was worth the effort.

The sixth and final episode brought the plot to a messy close, seeking to stop the goddess Ammit from proceeding to “purify the souls of Cairo, and then the world.” In the customary credit sequence, the producers capped that off by introducing a third personality, Jake Lockley, also rooted in the comics. While that seemingly spelled the end for the show’s villain (Ethan Hawke), the finish — giving the god Khonshu the protégé he sought — paved the way for further adventures should Marvel so choose.

That last twist might be cause for celebration in narrower confines of the Marvel fan universe, but “Moon Knight” too often felt like it was one long Easter-egg sequence, conspicuously preaching to that choir.

Granted, Marvel has made clear that Disney+ offers the chance to explore different kinds of stories, but “Moon Knight” feels at best like a quirky showcase for Isaac and at worst a failed experiment in terms of execution and tone.

That doesn’t mean this “Moon” won’t somehow rise again, if the closely held streaming data justifies it. But the promise that surrounded this property has faded, providing further evidence that even Marvel isn’t immune from setbacks as it moves into its next phase.

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Start-up Pony.ai says it’s the first self-driving company to get a taxi license in China

Jacob Scott

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Autonomous driving start-up Pony.ai can collect fares for robotaxi rides in parts of two major Chinese cities as of Sunday.

Pony.ai handout

BEIJING — Self-driving start-up Pony.ai announced Sunday it received a taxi license, the first of its kind in China.

The license allows Pony.ai to operate 100 self-driving cars as traditional taxis in the Nansha district of the southern city of Guangzhou, the company said.

The Chinese start-up, which is backed by Toyota, received approval from Beijing city late last year to charge fees to operate a commercial robotaxi business in a suburban district of the city. It is not the same as a taxi licence.

Baidu’s Apollo Go also received approval in the same Beijing district last year.

Pony.ai was valued at $8.5 billion in early March. The company said its Nansha taxi license required 24 months of autonomous driving testing in China and/or other countries, and no involvement in any active liability traffic accidents, among other factors.

The start-up said it plans to launch commercial robotaxi businesses in two other large Chinese cities next year. The company is already testing self-driving cars in those cities and in California. 

Robotaxis in China currently have a human driver present for safety.

— CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal contributed to this report.

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How to watch Timberwolves vs. Grizzlies: TV channel, NBA live stream info, start time

Jacob Scott

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Who’s Playing

Memphis @ Minnesota

Current Records: Memphis 2-1; Minnesota 1-2

What to Know

The Memphis Grizzlies’ road trip will continue as they head to Target Center at 10 p.m. ET this past Saturday to face off against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Memphis will be strutting in after a win while Minnesota will be stumbling in from a loss.

The Grizzlies are hoping for another victory. They beat the Timberwolves 104-95 this past Thursday. The victory came about thanks to a strong surge after the first quarter to overcome a 39-21 deficit. Memphis’ success was spearheaded by the efforts of power forward Brandon Clarke, who had 20 points in addition to eight rebounds, and shooting guard Desmond Bane, who shot 7-for-15 from beyond the arc and finished with 26 points and six boards.

Barring any buzzer beaters, Memphis is expected to win a tight contest. They might be worth taking a chance on against the spread as they are currently on a two-game streak of ATS wins.

Memphis’ win brought them up to 2-1 while the Timberwolves’ defeat pulled them down to a reciprocal 1-2. A couple offensive stats to keep in the back of your head while watching: The Grizzlies come into the game boasting the second most points per game in the league at 115.6. But Minnesota is even better: they rank first in the league when it comes to points per game, with 115.9 on average. Tune in for what’s sure to be a high-scoring contest.

How To Watch

When: Saturday at 10 p.m. ET Where: Target Center — Minneapolis, Minnesota TV: ESPN Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.) Follow: CBS Sports App Ticket Cost: $76.96

Odds

The Grizzlies are a slight 2.5-point favorite against the Timberwolves, according to the latest NBA odds.

The oddsmakers had a good feel for the line for this one, as the game opened with the Grizzlies as a 3-point favorite.

Over/Under: -110

See NBA picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

Memphis have won 19 out of their last 28 games against Minnesota.

Apr 21, 2022 – Memphis 104 vs. Minnesota 95 Apr 19, 2022 – Memphis 124 vs. Minnesota 96 Apr 16, 2022 – Minnesota 130 vs. Memphis 117 Feb 24, 2022 – Minnesota 119 vs. Memphis 114 Jan 13, 2022 – Memphis 116 vs. Minnesota 108 Nov 20, 2021 – Minnesota 138 vs. Memphis 95 Nov 08, 2021 – Memphis 125 vs. Minnesota 118 May 05, 2021 – Memphis 139 vs. Minnesota 135 Apr 02, 2021 – Memphis 120 vs. Minnesota 108 Jan 13, 2021 – Memphis 118 vs. Minnesota 107 Jan 07, 2020 – Memphis 119 vs. Minnesota 112 Dec 01, 2019 – Memphis 115 vs. Minnesota 107 Nov 06, 2019 – Memphis 137 vs. Minnesota 121 Mar 23, 2019 – Minnesota 112 vs. Memphis 99 Feb 05, 2019 – Memphis 108 vs. Minnesota 106 Jan 30, 2019 – Minnesota 99 vs. Memphis 97 Nov 18, 2018 – Memphis 100 vs. Minnesota 87 Apr 09, 2018 – Minnesota 113 vs. Memphis 94 Mar 26, 2018 – Memphis 101 vs. Minnesota 93 Dec 04, 2017 – Memphis 95 vs. Minnesota 92 Feb 04, 2017 – Memphis 107 vs. Minnesota 99 Nov 19, 2016 – Memphis 93 vs. Minnesota 71 Nov 01, 2016 – Minnesota 116 vs. Memphis 80 Oct 26, 2016 – Memphis 102 vs. Minnesota 98 Mar 16, 2016 – Minnesota 114 vs. Memphis 108 Feb 19, 2016 – Memphis 109 vs. Minnesota 104 Jan 23, 2016 – Minnesota 106 vs. Memphis 101 Nov 15, 2015 – Memphis 114 vs. Minnesota 106

Injury Report for Minnesota

No Injury Information

Injury Report for Memphis

Dillon Brooks: Game-Time Decision (Foot) Santi Aldama: Out (Knee) Killian Tillie: Out (Knee)

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