The rise of the entrepreneur
Ideation at Work
Entrepreneurs have come to be defined as those who start a new business. Textbook definitions add that to be truly entrepreneurial, the business must be a ‘new’ type of business (think Uber, Yoghurtland, Subway).
The Economist (an English newspaper, owned by the Rothschild family and in print since1843) suggests that we can see entrepreneurs in one of two ways: we can adopt the traditional view, “that entrepreneurs are people who run their own companies, the selfemployed or small-business people”.
Or we can adopt economist Joseph Schumpeter's (1883 – 1950) view that, “entrepreneurs are innovators: people who come up with ideas and embody those ideas in high-growth companies." Schumpter added that entrepreneurs aren’t simply motivated by profit. Instead they regard profit as a measure of success.
Over the last few years, it seems that the numbers of entrepreneurs have increased significantly. But perhaps it’s simply that their stories are being told more often and with louder voices. Australia recently jumped on the Dragon’s Den reality bandwagon with Shark Tank.
There has been a rise in the number of conferences and workshops highlighting local, national and international entrepreneurs. The Internet has made the world a ‘knowledge economy’ on a scale we have never experienced before.
Or maybe the numbers of entrepreneurs are increasing. We have experienced high levels of redundancies and these have served as the catalyst for many to follow the idea/dream that has been sitting in the recesses of their hearts and minds for quite some time. And I purposefully mention hearts before minds. Because successful entrepreneurs act from both. They need both.
Their idea or dream may be the recognition of a potential business opportunity or the solution to a problem that has yet to be resolved.
It may be a tangible product or it may be an IT development or a new app. It may also be a combination of all the above. And it may be the idea that comes at the junction of IT and our humanity, a theme apparent at the Front End Innovation Conference in May this year.
It takes courage, belief, passion, determination and resilience to run a successful business. And it takes calculated risk and unwavering belief to start something new.
Jennifer Holland is a local entrepreneur who shared her story recently at the Hunter Innovation Festival in July. Some (particularly fans of Shark Tank) will know the story of the young mother who took her 15 month old son to the doctor’s and was asked to restrain him while a spatula and a light were thrust down the poor bubs throat.
Her mother’s instinct told her there had to be an easier way. And the rest, as they say, is Throatscope history. A ‘history’ of determination, belief, patents, lawyers, developers, investors, meetings and perseverance that began five years ago and still continues.
One habit of serial entrepreneurs is an unquenchable thirst to know more. About everything. They read incessantly, network, attend conferences and talks, and join webinars. In 2014 Hunter Collective brought four entrepreneurs to the Hunter. There were two agendas behind this. Firstly, that people of the Hunter shouldn’t always have to travel to the ‘Big Smokes’ to get a business adrenaline hit. Secondly, to show off the assets and business acumen that is in this region. On September 10, Hunter Collective is on again with entrepreneurial guests Lisa Messenger (Renegade Collective), Gary Bertwistle (Author and Speaker), Jacinta McDonell (Anytime Fitness) and Melissa Edyvean (Bondi Chai).
Got an idea? Developed the solution to a problem? The seeds of entrepreneurialism have been planted. But beware, it’s a path not for the faint hearted. You will more than likely find yourself climbing into unchartered territory. Like Jack when he climbed the Beanstalk. But after a rough beginning and a few trials and tribulations, he did manage to find the goose that laid the Golden Egg.