Are you an innovator, imitator or idiot? Which group would you allocate yourself to?

Already the title of Gertraud Leimüller’s new book bears some food for thought. Intentionally so, since enjoying the status quo for too long leads to a deadlock; says innovation expert Gertraud Leimüller. And deadlock is the first step to downfall.

„Innovator, Imitator or Idiot“ is a revised and updated collection of innovation columns by winnovation founder Gertraud Leimüller, published weekly in „Salzburger Nachrichten“, one of Austria’s high quality newspapers. „The book is meant to get people to think about innovation“, says the author. On the occasion of the book presentation, Gertraud Leimüller invited to a panel discussion in Vienna and Salzburg, together with the Austrian Federation of Industries and the Chamber of Commerce Salzburg. One conclusion of the conversation was that it’s not only difficult for the individual to bring new ideas into the world, as that is usually met with resistance. More than that, whole systems like countries/politics avoid necessary innovation processes for too long and wonder afterwards when others overtake them.

The participants agreed that being an innovator pays off in any case, because failing always comes with learning. Contrary to the idiot, s/he stays unknowledgeable.

Unfortunately, the book is only available in German language. A short German description and online ordering options can be found here:, ISBN 978-3-99029-044-6

Foto: SN/Andreas Kolarik

The panel discussion in Salzburg (from left) was moderated by Manfred Perterer, chief editor SN (far right):

  • Georg Bauer, Head of Engineering BioScience Engineering, Sony DADC Austria
  • Edeltraud Stiftinger, Director aws – austria wirtschaftsservice gmbh
  • Hugo Rohner, Chairman Skidata AG
  • Gertraud Leimüller, Author and CEO winnovation

Address of welcome: Kurt Oberholzer, Economic Chamber Salzburg (2nd right).

The Panel discussion in Vienna was hosted by the Austrian Federation of Industries. In his welcome speech President Georg Kapsch linked quotes from the book with the current situation for innovation and entrepreneurship in Austria.

Andreas Koller, Deputy Chief Editor of SN, interviewed Gertraud Leimüller about the choice of the provocative book title. He also moderated the panel discussion with:

  • Gabriele Gerhardter, Head of Innovation & Mobility ÖAMTC
  • Thomas Wieser, President of the Euro Working Group, EU-Commission
  • Gertraud Leimüller, Author and founder of winnovation