The illusion of understanding entrepreneurial success

Posted

Whenever successful entrepreneurs are asked for the secrets of their success, it strikes me that their answers inevitably involve one or all of the following: (1) persist, i.e. do not give up; (2) learn from your mistakes; and (3) give the customers what they want. I have always found it troublesome that such advice sounds […]

The Anna Karenina principle in entrepreneurship

Posted

The opening sentence of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina – “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way” – has inspired the term “The Anna Karenina” principle. It readily applies to entrepreneurship: Successful entrepreneurs are all alike; every non-successful entrepreneur fails in his or her own way. Success, then, is not […]

Success Is Random, So Court Serendipity

Posted

This article fits very nicely with my earlier posts about success, failure, and Black Swans. Success Is Random, So Court Serendipity http://www.fastcompany.com/3000910/success-random-so-court-serendipity

Entrepreneurship as educational product

Posted

With the proliferation and tremendous popularity of entrepreneurship courses, it is worth pausing to reflect on what it is that they teach. Unlike accounting, finance or even marketing coursesĀ  – which offer a set of trade or professional skills with tangible career value – entrepreneurship courses are less susceptible to return-on-investment calculation. I am not […]

Is there life after Dragons’ Den?

Posted

There you have it. The real-life Dragons have spoken. Your idea has been turned down. What are you to do? It is an emotional rollercoaster. On the one hand, you can resign and savor life without uncertainty. But then you start thinking about all those cases – too many to be discounted as flukes – […]

In search and praise of (well intentioned) failure

Posted

To succeed, many things need to go right. To fail, only one of them needs to go wrong. Economists talk of the paradox of thrift: saving money is good for you, but if everyone saves too much, then we all may be worse off. Curiously, the same logic applies to entrepreneurial failure, but the other […]

Should we be suspicious of entrepreneurial stories?

Posted

A very intriguing TED talk by Tyler Cowen. Let me recap some of his main points: 1. People love stories. 2. No one describes their life as mess. People typically describe it as a journey, battle, novel, race, play, etc. 3. By telling stories, we are imposing order on the mess that we observe. When […]