Worthless, impossible and stupid? Why do custom business ideas succeed?
If everyone is looking at you like you’re crazy when you tell them about your business idea, congratulations. You can be on the way to becoming a true entrepreneur.
Just being a young, innovative and own boss is not enough to be an entrepreneur, according to Daniel Eisenberg, a visiting professor at Columbia Business School. And if everyone believes that your idea for a startup is wise and logical, then you are almost certainly not one of them, he said.
“In order to create and win extraordinary values, you almost always have to behave differently from others,” said Eisenberg. “You enter the market when everyone else leaves.”
The ideas of truly successful entrepreneurs are often initially considered ludicrous for the majority of the public, as Eisenberg wrote in his new book, “Worthless, Impossible, and Stupid: How Diverse Entrepreneurs Create and Conquer Extraordinary Values (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013).
Often, self-employed people call themselves entrepreneurs because they don’t work for the boss, as Eisenberg said. But owning a business is not enough to identify an entrepreneur. “They can just do boring and monotonous work,” he said of the interviews he conducted with entrepreneurs from Alabama to Islamabad.
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And while Eisenberg sees nothing wrong with being a small business owner. But he said that only one to five percent of small business owners are truly entrepreneurial. The word “entrepreneur” is often used to describe intentions, as he informed. For example, an “entrepreneurial thinker” is one who recognizes opportunities or is creative in his task.
But in order to be a true entrepreneur, you must not only think about ideas; you must act in accordance with them, Eisenberg believes. “It’s about actually generating results that are more than the market expects,” he said.
Paradoxically, the opposite entrepreneur cannot be defined until his idea is accepted or rejected by society, according to Eisenberg. “To a certain extent, it is the entrepreneur’s job to surprise us, surprise the market,” he said. “There is a certain aspect of entrepreneurship that is unpredictable.” This unpredictability makes it difficult to develop public policies to support entrepreneurship, Eisenberg added.
For entrepreneurs, according to Eisenberg, the main idea of the book is to have confidence and get used to being an outsider. It’s important to learn how to deal with troubles, resistance, and ridicule in the market, as Eisenberg says. “This is a normal part of entrepreneurial experience.”
There are no resume requirements for those who become successful entrepreneurs, but there are several similarities between true entrepreneurs, according to Eisenberg. Namely, they tend to show a desire to think independently, work hard, be persistent and seek incentives. Many of them began to work when they were young, so they learned early the importance of hard work.
While the generally accepted characteristics of entrepreneurs are noteworthy, they do not provide a precise definition for each entrepreneur, as Eisenberg said. Entrepreneurs are born all over the world, they are of different socio-economic backgrounds and they start in various industries. “It’s not just about Steve Jobs and Silicon Valley. How much about the type of entrepreneurship that you can see everywhere, be it Slovenia or Brazil, China or Iceland, ”he added.