Sunday, March 18, 2012

On growing entrepreneurs!

Nice short piece from The Economist:

Some excellent points here to emphasize --

#1. First, do no harm.
            Communities can harm entrepreneurial development (sadly) by trying to help when they have no idea of what's necessary. Seemingly logical policies/tactics can actually get in the way. But how many communities
or institutions are willing to allow the entrepreneurial community to drive the boat? (Witness how few universities do anything productive in economic development, but THINK they are.)
            How do we get communities to support entrepreneurs - provide what they want, not what we think they need?

#2.Quit obsessing over "clusters"
            I heard last year a research study that had identified over 100 different formal definitions of "cluster". LOL but research is VERY clear that:
            Clusters that evolve bottom-up can work;
            Clusters developed top-down... do not.
[If anyone speaks fondly of the "triple helix", kick them in the groin... repeatedly. Does NOT work but institutions & politics love it.. obviously.]

#3. Don't think "cluster", think "ecosystem"
            A healthy local economy is complexly interconnected -large firms and small, older firms & newer firms, rural & urban, for-profit & non-profit, even public & private sector.
           ** Understand the interconnectivity - map it skillfully, share that map
           ** Encourage "connectors", help more people to connect skillfully

#3A. The Economist makes a killer point - that these networks need to be globally connected.
           How many of your community officials or institutional players really are tied in closely to existing global networks?

#4. The entrepreneurial potential of a community is very much a function of its potential entrepreneurs
           Entrepreneurship-supportive *cognitive* infrastructure: A truly entrepreneurial ecosystem encourages & nurtures entrepreneurial mindsets broadly & deeply across the community/organization.

*** Think virtuous cycle -- the more broadly & deeply that people 'get' the entrepreneurial mindset, the easier it is for an entrepreneurial ecosystem to evolve; the more that the ecosystem evolves, the more broadly & deeply do people get the entrepreneurial mindset.

And to piggy back on Sir Richard... Just %&#$*^ Entrepreneur It! ;)

Let's all have an entrepreneurial week!


p.s. in honor of Sunday.... three theological insights into the value of entrepreneurship!

The Koran: "A truthful and trustworthy merchant is associated with the prophets" Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 50;

Pope John Paul II: 1983's Sollicitudo Rei Socialis: Enterprise and the role of the entrepreneur is a right subsumed under the right to personal economic initiative and considered this right to be co-equal to the right of religious liberty.

Dalai Lama: "Entrepreneurs Rock!"


Blogger SavvyStateofMind said...

Nice thoughts, Norris. I agree with what you're saying, especially when it comes to "clusters"- talk about a buzz word that needs to be retired.

An eco-system is not all that different from a belief-system. In order for innovation and entrepreneurialism to be truly successful, the community has to believe that this ecosystem is beneficial and then carry through with support for that style of commerce (like you said, not what they think is best, but rather what actually IS best). For example, if a local startup develops a new location based services app, the surrounding businesses need to give there support by creating their pages/respective avatars etc. and play along with the platform as evolves out of Beta. Being apart of an entrepreneurial case study is validating for both the developers and the participants. Other communities will see this interaction across the globe, and bam! #3A is achieved.

I'm with Sir Richard- regardless of the surrounding system, just fucking go for it :)

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Personality Development said...

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7:41 AM  

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