There are many jokes circulating in the startup community about people who want to just start companies without making something valuable. There’s a lot of that in Silicon Valley, and their end goal is to be acquired and cash out to retire early instead of working to improve or change the world. Those are the companies that never stand out and those are the people that nobody remembers.

The heartbeat of the entrepreneur is about finding meaning in whatever it is that you are doing. It’s about finding something to motivate you, to fuel you, to keep your heartbeat racing. A true entrepreneur knows that the best motivation doesn’t come from a paycheck or stock options. It comes from the idea that if you build something worthwhile you could one day change the world. It takes a special breed to think like this. Money is not an end goal, it’s merely used to fuel your growth and your creativity. Money is perishable. To think any different is nonsense.

Fight your impulse to conform

Get in the habit of thinking different. Steve Jobs once said, “Don’t think about how you can make something better, instead think about how you can make it different.” There’s no lack of money, but there are very few great ideas. Think outside the box. Don’t be jailed by the norms of other people’s previous successes or failures. Learn from them, sure, but don’t simply copy and try to outperform them. If you do this, you are limiting yourself from the very start.

– John F. Kennedy

To be truly innovative means to create something that no one has thought of before. This is what every entrepreneur should strive for because the potential is great. The actual implementation, however, is sadly coming up short. Diving into business without purpose and slapping the word ‘innovative’ on your website is not going to benefit anyone. Innovation as a term is losing its impact on the startup community. It’s overused by any and every new company in order to seem cool and up-to-date.  Every time I go on a company website and see the word ‘innovative,’ I cringe. This company is not innovative simply because they claim to be or because they use the word on their site. You can call it irony. I call it ignorance. If they were truly innovative, they would have thought a better word to describe their business – not simply conform to what people ‘think’ a great company should be. Innovation is a concept of yesterday. It’s up to you to imagine the concept of tomorrow.

“Innovative as a term is losing its edge. Don’t be innovative. Be original. But don’t ever put that on your website

.” – A very smart entrepreneur