Reading books like “Imagine” by Jonah Lehrer, “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell, or “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman may leave you thinking about ways to become one of the famed and successful entrepreneurs. They also suggest that much of what we believe may be less factual than we think and our gut feelings can often be WRONG. Yet many entrepreneurs have built companies in spite of all the potential for less than optimal decisions. They learned to PIVOT when they were wrong and be relentless when things went well. These greats had a few things that helped them in their path to success.
· Extended experience in an emerging field
· Ability to sort the facts and process more analytically
· Be in the right place at the right time
· Be surrounded by many others interested in a common area
These factors seemed to be important in early years as far back as BC in ancient Greece as described by Lehrer. It was the case in Europe with the great artists and in England with some of the great authors. The most creative and innovative seemed to emerge in a small area because factors brought them together where they shared idea and competed with teach other. They enhanced the state of a field by using what they learned from their competition and they morphed failures into successes. This was the case throughout history.
Gladwell suggests part of what helped some of the more recent great business leaders succeed was being early in a field and having established expertise via practice. His definition of an expert is one that has at least 10,000 hours of experience in a field. More importantly success seems to occur more commonly when an expert in the right time and place for the field of his or her business. Usually that is in the start of the cycle for that business.
Finally, Kahneman suggests that having a gut feel is OK much of the time, but many times your gut is wrong. Successful people have either a better ability to process via gut feel or a more analytical ability to choose the correct path. The book “Nudge” by Richard H. Thaler and Cass Sunstein describes how trends and positioning can enhance the ability to market anything; goods, services, or products.
The goal of many communities is finding new businesses that increase revenues and jobs for that community. Finding ways to enhance interactions among those interested in building business enhances the flow of ideas. Providing opportunities for experimentation and training to the younger generation builds on their experiences to allow them to become eventual experts. Local universities and medical centers spin ideas out that become companies. What facilitates the process is creating the environment so the right mixes of networking and sharing of creative and novel ideas fuels the process. Better yet, would be to identify emerging fields and bring interested parties together to enhance the field. Efforts like these worked when Silicon Valley became hub of technology and took that title from New England.
The point of this discussion is that leaders and entrepreneurs moving in the right direction increases the chances that everyone will benefit from what emerges: i.e., New Companies and More Jobs!
You can follow Taffy Williams on Twitter by @twilli2861 and you can email him with questions at email@example.com or contact him via company contact info in the website. More Startup information is contained in his personal blog.