In a world that’s increasingly litigious over intellectual property (IP), the challenge for entrepreneurs in the Fourth Industrial Revolution may well be how to adapt hardware and software to local needs without being issued with a Cease and Desist notice from an overeager law firm.

Industrial Revolution Entrepreneurship

From the Golden Age of British Farming (1850-1875) onwards, there were always opportunities for entrepreneurs to adapt a new invention or method to serve a local market or need; steam pumps soon become Steam Engines for example.

When Ford built his first production line, the interest in the final product ended at the factory gate. Once sold, the owner took full responsibility for his vehicle. This quickly led to new services and sub-sectors sprouting up, panel beaters, car interior, racing, many of which became stand-alone major industries in their own right.  

Next Generation Of Entrepreneurs

With the Fourth Industrial Revolution it is more difficult to see how this will happen, with IP and Cease & Desist a common occurrence when patents are sought to discourage any manipulation of software or design.  

It poses a question. What kind of ingenuity will be required for those who are not ‘well-educated’ or good at maths to become a Berne Ecclestone; the second-hand car dealer turned Formula 1 Supremo? 

Learning From The Ground Upwards

Part of the Innovation Hub remit will be to document the responses to technologies being exhibited and encouraging people to re-imagine and consider how to re-purpose different technologies for specific local uses.  

Most of the greatest innovations spawned out of need, and many a great business came about through repurposing an invention or process.   Using techniques developed through the Platform-7 interventions, we will see how adept the general public are at rethinking and applying some of the latest technologies to common day problems that might end up as a new business, or a even industry. 


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