Saturday, September 15, 2012

Entrepreneur of Another Ilk

Back in March, I featured a post about Sara Blakely's interview with Kai Ryssdal on Blakely is the founder of Spanx. During the interview, she offered a few tidbits:
  • "I feel like a lot of entrepreneurs end up getting in the way of the growth of their own business, because it's a totally different skill set, to run operate a business."
  • "I learned very quickly what I liked to do, what I didn't like to do, what I was good at, and what I wasn't good at, and as soon as I could afford to hire my weaknesses I did."
Hard lessons to learn, but important ones. Know yourself, as the old hemlock-drinker said. Self-knowledge, and self-honesty are paramount to the success of an entrepreneur. Why then is there so much resistance to the honesty of a research entrepreneur who seeks to fill the gaps in business development expertise, marketing and sales, any more so than if an MBA with drive and verve seeks to fill in their gaps in technical fields?

I think of my days as a graduate student and recently-hooded PhD, asking career advice of professors. No matter how well-intentioned, nearly every conversation returned to academia, how to get a foot in the door for a tenure-track post. I realized then that we are all limited to some extent by our own experience. The same is true today of many of my entrepreneurial advisors.

But the path of an entrepreneur is singular. Why then try to fit us all into the same boat, with the same skill sets, the same motivations, the same paths to success? The tent of entrepreneurship ought to be a big one, an inclusive one. I tire of hearing "give me an A-team with a mediocre idea over a great idea with a B-team any day." Why not pair the greatest ideas with the best teams to deliver results?

That's the true path to success.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your interest in Research Entrepreneur. I trust that your comments will be germane to the topic under discussion.

I welcome differences of opinion, but I do require that your comments contribute to open and honest discussion. If not, I retain the right to delete your contribution.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.