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Monday, January 16, 2012

Define Entrepreneurship

"Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled." -Howard Stevenson, Harvard Business School
In other words, Entrepreneurship is the optimistic acceptance of risk regardless of consequences to (other people's) money. Entrepreneurs are confidence men. They build up your trust, offer you a deal that seems too good to be true, and take your 'investment' for all it is worth. The crazy thing is, in modern markets, controlled much more by feelings than facts, if you can convince enough people to trust your opinion, then you make money, regardless of the facts. That doesn't seem fair, does it? But such business is never fair. This is why the French invented the word and why Marxists despise entrepreneurs.
Breakthrough Entrepreneurship by entrepreneur and teacher Jon Burgstone and writer Bill Murphy, Jr.

The world is not fair, but it is we who make it unjust. I love JUSTICE (not Law, that is something different). Justice is how men make the world a fair place. That's why my personal evolution in business has taken a turn toward SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP, rather than traditional forms. Social Entrepreneurs have other goals besides money.

When we define our values, we can see our goals, and that helps us choose our actions. Right action is difficult in a complex world, and each individual situation requires a unique judgment, but with good values as your compass, you can find your way through the darkness of the forest, around obstacles, across rivers, to your goal. If your only goal is money, then that is all you shall have.

I have pursued justice without regard to money, and I am willing to use other people's resources toward that end. I'm a social entrepreneur, non-profit business proprietor, and I know my values and my goals. Do you?


Philosopher3000 said...

"a person who is willing and able to convert a new idea or invention into a successful innovation"

The Understanding of entrepreneurship owes much to the work of economist Joseph Schumpeter in the 1930s and other Austrian economists such as Carl Menger, Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich von Hayek. For Schumpeter, the entrepreneur did not bear risk: the capitalist did.

The behavior of the entrepreneur reflects a kind of person willing to put his or her career and financial security on the line and take risks in the name of an idea, spending much time as well as capital on an uncertain venture. The acts of entrepreneurship are often associated with true uncertainty, particularly when it involves bringing something really novel to the world, whose market never exists. Entrepreneurs are often contrasted with managers and administrators who are said to be more methodical and less prone to risk-taking. The vast literature studying the entrepreneurial personality found that certain traits seem to be associated with entrepreneurs. Many real-life entrepreneurs operate in teams rather than as single individuals.

Motivated by an overwhelming need for achievement and strong urge to build or create something new, the entrepreneurs are tough, pragmatic people driven by needs of independence and achievement. They seldom are willing to submit to authority. Prone to insights, brainstorms, deceptions, ingeniousness and resourcefulness, they are cunning, opportunistic, creative, and unsentimental.

Entrepreneurs exhibit extreme optimism in their decision-making processes, and thus are prone to overconfidence and over generalizations.

Creativity requires a nomadic life of endless study. Creative destruction and recombination of ideas, requires a lack of fear of failure, and a level of persistence and economic courage uncommon in conservative capitalism.

Of debate is the importance of short-term vs. long-term gains in the ethical implementation of risk and in assessing opportunities. Some large corporations and government try to implement policies that encourage entrepreneurship without setting guidelines that limit the type of risk or implementing specific goals, and fall victim to short term profiteers and opportunists who use such policies for personal gain at the expense of the group.

Warning: Unrealistic beliefs and over-confidence may also be indicative of narcissistic tendencies that boarder upon sociopathic disorders. True entrepreneurs understand the consequences of their risks and do not gamble on the outcome, they only act when they can directly effect the outcome of their gamble, putting the ball in their court and control of the probabilities on their side.

stacie28 said...

'Breakthrough Entrepreneurship' by Jon Burgstone and Bill Murphy seems to be a very interesting and useful book! thanks for this great recommendation! I absolutely love to read books about business in general and successful entrepreneurs like Richard Branson or Yury Mintskovsky. They are very inspiring and motivational!

Laurits said...

Great post and comments.