The Most Important Book On Entrepreneurship You Probably Haven’t Read
For 20 years Paul D. Reynolds worked as a sociology professor. Then he made the momentous career decision to focus on entrepreneurship. For the ensuing 23 years, he was affiliated with five business schools and served as the coordinating principal investigator of Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics (PSED) research program, the most detailed study of entrepreneurship ever undertaken. Now, in Business Creation: Ten Factors for Entrepreneurial Success, he summarizes and interprets the mountain of work he has done on a subject that is still only poorly understood.
Based on nationally representative samples of nascent entrepreneurs who were followed for six years after they started their businesses, the PSED provides a thoroughly documented picture of how start-ups actually unfold and brings unparalleled scientific rigor to the subject.
Reynolds is also the founding principal investigator of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, the world’s foremost study of entrepreneurship and a trusted resource for international organizations like the United Nations, World Economic Forum, World Bank and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. (Full disclosure: I’ve known Paul for 3 years and he has graciously helped me with invaluable data to support many of the arguments of my own books.)
In just 175 pages, Business Creation describes the major features of launching and trying to sustain a startup. It is organized around ten “statements of fact” about entrepreneurship like “it can be very satisfying,” “it is a social activity,” and “profits are elusive.” But behind those deceptively simple statements lie reams of data and careful thought about what it means for entrepreneurs and for people who want to encourage new business formation…