Friday, August 17

Are Entrepreneurs Idiots?

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Possibly, but only if you’re not one already

Fear of Flying? Fear of Fifty? Whatever these entrepreneurs have, it ain’t fear. Or is it that entrepreneurs “feel the fear and just go ahead and do it anyway”?

I’ve met lots of entrepreneurs and can report unreservedly that they are idiots. They certainly have a passionate fanatical faith in the merits of their ideas. How is it that their tenacity seems to surmount the ‘obvious’ practical flaws of their plans?

Is the success of entrepreneurs with their crazy, paradigm-shifting notions, yet more proof, if any were needed, of the indominability of the human spirit? If we can put a person on the moon, then surely anything is possible. In conventional business logic, you should never start a business in an industry that you don’t understand. Entrepreneurs fly in the face of convention and, seemingly, the greater the degree to which they are out of their depth in busily changing their adopted industry, the higher their serene radiation in being outside of their comfort zone (not that they could remember such a state of mind, anyway, because, as I mentioned, they are idiots).

Secretly, at night, in the dark caverns of my mind, I can hear entrepreneurs giggling, snickering and snorting. How is that my red-light, rational, and risk-averse thinking (apparently shared by 95% of the population) allows these freestylers to occupy, unchallenged and unbothered, a huge green opportunity zone? For Entrepreneurs are from a small minority (5%) who have, wittingly or unwittingly (knowing them as I do, I’ll nominate the latter) embraced Robert Kennedy’s maxim that “only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly”.What idiots!

A quick conversational exchange leads to the, for once, instant conclusion: “how can someone so stupid be a multi-millionaire”? To which, the oil-entrepreneur George Bush Snr once retorted: “If you’re so smart, how come I am the President of the United States?”.

Are entrepreneurs, having had their cake and eaten it, also having the last laugh? In swerving past our introspections, have they already repaired to their fawlty towers and hothouses to plan the next big thing?

This article was originally published on LinkedIn


About Author

Mark Wiggins currently serves as Senior Vice President, Sales – Research & Analytics for the UK geography at WNS Global Services. Educated at the University of Melbourne, Mark worked with London-based ICT advisory firm Ovum, now part of Informa Plc., in the early part of his career, for a decade as Global Sales Manager, MD, Asia Pacific and CEO, North America. Prior to WNS, Mark held senior roles for innovative research advisory, analytics and consulting firms specializing in Enterprise Application Software, online competitor intelligence, knowledge process outsourcing, e-mail marketing analytics and operational performance improvement. Mark is an avid blogger and a regular contributor to industry journals and publications.

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