Vermont Innovator Mission Statement:
Warren Buffett coined the phrase “innovators, imitators, and idiots.” He didn’t mention entrepreneurs. Buffett’s words of wisdom prompted me to consider the differences between innovators and entrepreneurs. For most of my business life I considered myself an entrepreneur, but what I realize lately is that I am foremost an innovator. An entrepreneur is primarily interested in money, and one can look to the west coast to see this clearly. California is going through another gold rush with young people moving out to the west coast to find their fortunes.

This process has happened many times in California. The end of 1980 saw the end of the cold war and the end of lucrative military contracts, in 1999 the Dot Com bubble popped, in 2010 the competition to create a money-making “app” fizzled, and now the race to replicate an already saturated market of social networking is raging in Silicon Valley.

Each time the race for riches starts with innovators, and then the imitators and idiots show up trying to pose as entrepreneurs. If any one of those entrepreneurs took the time to study history, they would find out that the first to mine the gold always make the big bucks, and ultimately the company store ends up controlling almost everything.

Innovators are much harder to identify because many true innovators work behind the scene day after day, not necessarily for cash but for passion. Innovators work hard for a reason that they cannot quite put their finger on. An internal need drives them on when perhaps the innovative idea they are relentlessly working on will never see the light of day.

You can find innovators in businesses and organizations. An innovator has a hard time working at a major corporation because creative dynamic people have a difficult time molding to a narrow corporate system.

Innovators don’t tend to be the leader, but innovators will create the magic that raises a business to new heights. Ultimately most innovators will not get the praise or big bucks because what they are most interested in is creating something new that changes the world for the better, if even a little.

There is no better fertile group for innovators than Vermont. Over the last twenty plus years, I have witnessed the powerful energy of Vermont. Where entrepreneurs may go to California and other start-up hot spots to find gold, innovators come to Vermont to follow their passion.

Innovation in Vermont doesn't stop with high-tech startups. Positive change in Vermont has spread to government, farming, manufacturing, food development, design and marketing, publishing, artist and craftsperson, architecture, law enforcement and legal industry, builders, energy, healthcare, engine development and engineering, education, and collaboration, to name only a few.

Vermont Innovator magazine’s primary purpose is to look behind the curtain and bring to light the innovator in Vermont; to detail their story for the present and for generations to come. Each issue will outline the innovator's story and the Vermont lifestyle and positive energy that help support creating new and exciting changes to our world.

Rob Minearo, Publisher
Vermont Innovator magazine