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Entrepreneurship Articles, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 898

Essay

Daniel McGinn argues that like many other professions, entrepreneurship has also been evolving. In the past, entrepreneurs would be someone with an idea which they might have improved over the years but now entrepreneurship has become more leaner activity in which individual entrepreneurs may be toying with different ideas at the same time. These trends are being promoted by “business accelerators” or experienced entrepreneurs who mentor aspiring entrepreneurs. The new trend in Silicon Valley is to quickly assemble a team of likeminded individuals who put together a product or service, use customer feedback to improve it or simply drop it to move to other projects. Daniel provides extreme examples of events during which total strangers meet on Friday evening to pitch ideas, form teams, and even create a company by Sunday eveneing; all during a period of only 54 hours (McGinn).

While McGinn admits this process is more efficient, he is also quick to point that there are almost no results that may prove the worth of this new trend, with the exception of Dropbox maybe. McGinn criticizes this approach because the goal is usually to get rich quick by selling out to Google rather than create companies that may change the world. The author also states that the entrepreneurs pursuing this approach lack the passion that has usually been associated with old-age entrepreneurs. The author does praise the idea for its focus on customer feedback and suggests that entrepreneurs should find a balance between passion, patience, and responding to market feedback (McGinn).

There are some who believe that entrepreneurs are born but a professor at Insead, Hal Gregersen believes that entrepreneurs can be created and the process of creating entrepreneurs should be initiated by parents while their children are still young. Gregersen suggests that parents should encourage kids to ask questions, be curious, observe, experiment, and network. Gregersen also suggests interacting with people who come from different backgrounds and are not similar to us as well as living in other countries. These experiences help children broaden their outlook. Gregersen claims that almost every innovator he has interviewed had adults who provided experiences necessary for fostering entrepreneurial spirit (Gregersen).

Gregersen also claims that innovative companies keep their creativity alive because they are led by innovative leaders who are not afraid to ask questions, observe the world, meet people from backgrounds totally different from their own, and engage in new experiments. Gregersen claims that leaders have to set examples for their followers and this is how they build credibility that they truly mean it when they emphasize innovation and creativity. Gregersen makes it clear that one cannot overstate the importance of asking questions, no matter how strange or weird they may be. Only by asking questions do companies get disrupting ideas, thus, leaders should create an environment which encourage such behavior (Gregersen).

Gregersen also states that any country can become innovative and that includes China. It doesn’t matter whether the culture is individualistic or collectivist. The key is to create an environment which encourages asking questions, observing, experimenting, networking, and acting upon the ideas and if China can do, it has as good chance of tackling innovation as any other country on the earth. Gregersen reiterates that all these traits can be found in almost every company whose culture is known for innovation (Gregersen).

Writing in Harvard Business Review, Mike McGlade narrates his story as a failed social entrepreneur and how the lessons learnt from the experience may benefit anyone just as they have been benefitting him since then. McGlade started a social networking company called Zoosa but it failed because McGlade didn’t have any related work experience (McGlade). McGlade offers two major lessons to the readers he obtained during his time managing Zoosa.

The first advice McGlade offers to his readers is not to invest ego in the business. McGlade says that the passion to run own business is not enough and many entrepreneurs make the mistake of starting a company first and deciding upon an idea later. McGlade advises that the approach should be to identify a need or problem that exists and then make an attempt to meet that need or solve the problem (McGlade).

The second lesson McGlade learnt was to be smart. He claims that aspiring entrepreneurs often overestimate the feasibility of their idea and underestimate the risks. They often do not even have the skills to develop the product or service but they merely take the conventional advices to heart that entrepreneur is all about preserving in the face of temporary setbacks. They preserve even when the market feedback is negative. McGlade’s advice is to first acquire experience and understand the field better because perseverance without experience or exposure to right people will be of little use (McGlade).

The author says that ego only results in unnecessary waste of time and financial resources. The author claims he has acquired valuable sales, marketing, and business development skills since the failure of his startup and he eventually plans to go back into social enterprise but for the time being, he has been learning as much as he could. Thus, the author recommends aspiring entrepreneurs to first gain experience before venturing out on their own.

References

Gregersen, Hal. The Entrepreneur’s DNA. 25 February 2013. 21 April 2013 <http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323549204578317512385795852.html>.

McGinn, Daniel. “Too Many Pivots, Too Little Passion.” Harvard Business Review September 2012: 134-135.

McGlade, Mike. Lessons from a Failed Social Entrepreneur. 11 February 2013. 21 April 2013 <http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/02/lessons_from_a_failed_social_e.html>.

 

     

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