Via the Mises Economics blog, Carleen Hawn.
Commenter Francis Wu:
I’d rather be known as an innovator. Anybody can come up with an idea, but an idea is worthless unless it’s acted upon and properly executed (innovation). Sometimes the idea and the innovation can come from the same person. Other times, the idea people get drunk on their own big ideas and fail to execute.
For more on the “-Invention vs. Innovation”- debate, see this April 2007 blog post from Mike Linksvayer, with plenty of good comments.
One way of putting it is that six billion people generate a huge number of ideas, some number of which could be called inventions. Most are hopeless (the inventions- the people at least manage to survive for a time). Most of the rest are not actively pursued. The only way to test whether an invention is hopeless or useful is to attempt to deliver it at scale. So innovators (think of them as idea entrepreneurs, or whatever) both figure out which inventions are not hopeless and deliver the useful ones at scale. Innovators create all of the surplus, inventors do little more than breathe.