We argue that the identities of owners and owner-managers of public companies can influence innovation and thus performance. We distinguish between innovation input, innovation output and innovation quality. We show that lone founder owners and owner-managers, who we argue embrace entrepreneurial identities, achieve superior innovation output and quality when compared to other firms, even controlling for innovation input. By contrast family owners and managers, who we argue adopt family nurturer identities, spend less on innovation input and also obtain less output and quality, again, controlling for innovation input.