News & Views

December 4, 2012

Leading an Enterprise in Phase One: Getting the Idea Right

At the end of Phase One entrepreneurs feel pretty good. They have found real customers for their prototype product or service. In Phase Two entrepreneurs must figure out how to: 1) deliver their product or service, and 2) satisfy customers while finding new customers, and 3) run the enterprise. It does not make sense to invest any time into doing any of these things before you actually know what you’ll be selling and what sort of customers will be buying. Most entrepreneurs never make it out of Phase Two because it requires a great deal of extra effort beyond just delivering products or service one at a time and finding customers one at a time.

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November 8, 2012

Entrepreneurial Leaders Understand Trees

I get a steady stream of visitors coming to ask me for advice on entrepreneurship. I am constantly meeting with Princeton students, local entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs from around the world that happen to be visiting the area. I get all sorts of questions but most of them fall into the general category of, “what should I do next?” This is a tough question to which to give a specific answer because every situation is so different. But understanding a bit about how enterprises mature narrows down what sort of questions I need to ask in order to give decent enough advice that entrepreneurs keep coming back to ask for more.

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October 26, 2012

Steve Jobs’ Tough Lesson in Entrepreneurial Leadership – a Different Take on His Legacy

This website makes a big point that entrepreneurs and leaders have almost diametrically opposed personal ambitions. Entrepreneurs have selfish motives for their actions in wanting to make the world change to accommodate and accept their idea and what they want to do. A leader, on the other hand, need to make the people around them feel that he is selflessly committed to making them successful. Entrepreneurial Leadership (EL) requires a person walk the sharp razor’s edge that divide’s the two territories.

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September 29, 2012

Achieving Entrepreneurial Success

What is entrepreneurial success?

  • Getting a company launched?
  • Being the boss?
  • Creating jobs for others?
  • Making money (or creating social value if a non-profit)?
  • Creating an enterprise that matters to customers and employees alike?

Most entrepreneurs can succeed at getting a company launched and being the boss. I want to challenge and help entrepreneurs to achieve all 5 objectives on the list, which will require you to achieve the status of Entrepreneurial Leader (EL). This will require serious work. If you are up for the challenge then read on.

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September 28, 2012

Do We Agree On What Entrepreneur Means?

If you are talking about entrepreneurship you may not know what you are talking about.

Entrepreneur is an overused term that can mean almost anything. The problem with reading books, articles and blogs on the subject of entrepreneurship is that you may not realize which definition a person is using. Sometimes authors use multiple definitions without realizing it. I get very frustrated when someone quotes the results of research that may have been done using a very different definition of entrepreneur than they assumed.

It is important to understand the range of definitions of entrepreneur in order to properly understand and analyze who is saying what to whom on this very broad discussion topic.

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September 28, 2012

Entrepreneurs Can Do Better

Most entrepreneurs are disappointed with their results.

Some of the most careful research in the field indicates that:

  • Over 30% of all entrepreneurs in America give up before even launching their business
  • Once their business has launched, the average entrepreneur makes less than they would have if they had a comparable job – even after the business has been established as viable
  • Most businesses that are launched fail within 5 years

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September 27, 2012

What is Entrepreneurial Leadership?

Entrepreneurs start companies that make money or enterprises that deliver social good. Successful entrepreneurs deliver products or services that real customers find valuable enough that they are willing to pay money for them.

That is not enough. Growing an enterprise is a very different endeavor. You cannot grow an enterprise without first having developed a valuable product or service, but the challenges of growth are very different than the challenges of product and business model verification.

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September 27, 2012

Entrepreneurial Leadership Skills

An Entrepreneurial Leader (EL) is more than an entrepreneur and a leader combined. An EL must be both selfish and selfless at the same time. And that requires plenty of skill.

Let me define ‘skill’; it is the ability to perform a prescribed task. Skills can be learned although each person may demonstrate a greater or lesser ability to perform the task under different types of conditions (i.e., levels of competence).

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