Kevin Ready

Ideas on Business and Markets 


Sunday
Mar072010

What is an Entrepreneur?

My definition: "A Builder of Resonance."

An entrepreneur  is a risk-taker who invests his  time, energy, and or capital to create a new product, process, or organization that has a unique resonance within a given community. If I am in a poetic or philosophical mood I even add that it is a search for "social resonance", meaning that an entrepreneur needs to find a way to interact with people (preferably lots of people) in a way that resonates with them, and attracts their participation and buy-in. This can be social entrepreneurship like President Jimmy Carter working with "Habitat for Humanity" (lots of resonance, lots of buy-in). It can also be business-oriented as when Jeff Bezos started Amazon.com. His creation certainly resonates with people, and people demonstrate this with their purchasing power and brand loyalty. They keep going back to Amazon again and again.

Inherent in this definition are a few ideas which are worth discussing.

Creation of something new.

  • Always starts with a proposition: You are going to solve someone's problem, and then you will get something from it as a result.
  • You have information or insight that other people don't have
  • You have a unique product
  • You will deliver an existing product to a group that does not have it
  • You deliver an existing product in a new way: faster, cheaper, or better.

Personal Responsibility

In starting something new, that newness means that at least some aspect of the project will be uniquely you. That uniqueness is the key to your success, and the linchpin of success or failure, but you have to start with a solid idea and a solid plan for connecting the idea with your customers. No amount of hard work can make up for
"If you honestly believe that you can make up for a lack of a coherent plan by doubling your efforts, then there is no end to what you can't accomplish."

Notice I did not say "lack of planning", I said "lack of a coherent plan". Some companies tie themselves up in knots, and run in circles with too much planning. The fact is that the amount of planning does not matter so much as the quality and the speed - it is the resulting coherent plan, and the speed of delivery to the market that matters. While there is some correlation between amount of planning, and the quality of the result, you have to learn to identify when planning has gotten you into analysis paralysis.
  • Nobody will force you to get up and do it, it has to be a driving motivation from inside of you.
  • Love the work, or don't even try to do it.



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