Monday, December 17

Corporatism is killing Entrepreneurialism

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Why aren’t the naturally entrepreneurial minded geniuses behind new innovative (disruptive) businesses interested in being employees in big corporations?  Because they are naturally entrepreneurial thinkers who are stifled by the corporate working environment, no matter how many bean bags or Fussball tables you put in the staff canteen.

Big corporations hold themselves up as great examples of how to succeed in business, they are showcased as “the best”.  But what they fail monumentally at is how to succeed in creating truly new products, new business models: they fail at leading into the future.

The best ones buy start ups who have survived beyond the basic market research, product development and proof of concept stages.   But even then, they generally end up killing the heart of what made that business great. At best, they manage to create a more sleepy, more “corporate” version of it, sanitising the creativity.

The people with the real talent would rather face the stress and challenges of a start up, even when this reality means uncertainty of being able to pay basic cost of living bills.  They’d rather struggle, scrimp and save, working into the night multiple nights a week than have their flame snuffed out by corporate beigeness.

Even Steve Jobs was evicted from his own company, a company which owed its very existence to his vision, his genius, his creativity.  He no longer “fit in” to the new corporation of Apple.  The board could not understand his vision, they couldn’t justify the risk.  Steve Jobs became a liability once his own business he’d nurtured from birth had grown up.

Entrepreneurs are the rebellious teenagers, they’re the ones who think “why not?” and “Fuck it, let’s do it” instead of seeing a thousand reasons why not.

Corporations survive because they minimise risk, they create processes to be repeated perfectly, they reduce the skills required from individuals to keep the cogs of the corporate machine whirring regularly, smoothly, slowly ticking over.

Read that last sentence again – that is the entrepreneur’s idea of hell, having to repeat the same task in the same way every day – that’s what crushes and kills the soul of an entrepreneur.  They’re too smart to be culled by joining corporations, instead the corporations attempt to bribe them, kidnap them, swallow them whole, or worse still, still their genius and use their corporate machine to undercut them, outsell them, dominate the market place for a slightly inferior product, that delivers credibility and trust to the consumer- because it’s got the seal of a household brand.

Corporates – when are you going to stop stealing the souls of entrepreneurs and value them, the different way they work, find a place for them within the corporate cogs, so they have space, flexibility and resources to do what they do best- create and define the future as we do not know it, as we cannot envision? When are you going to trust and embody entrepreneurship into the heart of corporate culture? Because the risk of failing to do this will see the creation of more Kodak moments for the big businesses of today, you will not be the big businesses of the future, you’ll be dead.


About Author

Claire is a professional speaker, trainer, business consultant and coach, she helps people transition from employees to entrepreneurs, so they get to build businesses doing what they love! Claire has specialist knowledge in use of social media in building a brand and has been known as the Twitter Queen of Ireland. Gaining national press coverage, being in the top most tweeted in Ireland in 2010, she regularly delivered "Tweeting for Business Success" seminars for businesses in Ireland and UK. Awarded Innovative Marketing Engaging Media Personality in June 2013, judged by David Keene Head of Enterprise Marketing UK & Ire Google, VP of Media Relations Nokia, and Head of Global Digital Marketing KPMG,

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