When humanity encounters a shiny new piece of tech and senses its potential, we usually (glibly) assume that the world will instantaneously hop aboard and ride the resulting wave of change.

Anyone who has experienced at least one of these waves knows what typically happens next…We crash.

We crash into the disillusionment. More than a couple of times over the decades, we have turned up at the doors of once-unstoppable businesses to find the business and their founders crumpled in the debris.

It may seem an idiotic question, but why, time and again, do we consider the Gartner Hype Cycle–a theory of technology adoption–to be inherently correct?

Why do we keep getting this wrong?

The answer seems clear. We favor technologies over business models. We drink the Kool-Aid day after day, year after year until the tragic moment…that tragic moment, when we realize that we must turn the concept and technology into something customers will actually buy.

Others have previously discussed the entrepreneurial mindset needed to solve the world’s largest, most mind-numbing problems. Those who rise to the challenge, we conclude, will claim a generous slice of future markets. And yet, a good deal of effort is still needed to turn most emerging technologies into sustainable wealth creation engines.

In our experience, anyone who still wants to kick off a discussion about long-term wealth creation by focusing on the business case for addressing the world’s biggest unmet needs is likely to find themselves paddling along well behind the next big wave, very likely missing it entirely.

By contrast, the winners of tomorrow, are the ones already sketching a new business model on the proverbial napkin.

Business models are what connects a technology’s potential with real market needs and consumer demand.

Simply put, business models eat the business case for breakfast.

So, rather than continuing to innovate by creating new ways to do what we have always done, let us create something we have never dreamed of by turning our focus and innovation to the very model we rely on to get us there.

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