The New Entrepreneur

William Reichert of Garage Technology Ventures writes:

If you examine the DNA of the New Entrepreneur, you will see many traits that characterize the earlier versions: the desire to do something different, the boldness to follow a different path, and the persistence to follow through in spite of extraordinary obstacles. And you will also see some new traits: The New Entrepreneurs are more battle scarred, less innocent, more realistic, less delusional, more bootstrap oriented, less dependent on traditional venture capital, more operational, and less IPO focused. They are less naive and have more business discipline and savvy. This business savvy comes not from getting an M.B.A., but rather from living through the last 10 years and trying to launch new businesses during the dramatic rollercoaster we experienced. The entrepreneurs we see today are, frankly, more capable than they were in the 80s and 90sand they have to be.

The New Entrepreneur reflects the new requirements for success in the new environment in which companies are being created and grown. First of all, there is no such thing as a lone entrepreneur in a successful high-tech startup. Although individuals become the icons for companies and entrepreneurship, the real story is that every successful company is truly built by a team. This has always been true: Packard had his Hewlett, Gates had his Allen, Jobs had his Wozniak, Yang had his Filo. Today, it is even more true and more necessary.

The entrepreneurial team has expanded along with the core competencies required to launch a company. Just as designing an advanced circuit or developing commercial software has become more complex over the past 20 years, so has starting a high-tech company. In today’s environment, it’s not enough to have a core technology and a target customer. You have to have the engineering management talent, the product marketing talent, the business development talent, and increasingly the global talent. Hardly a team comes through our doors these days that does not already have a development activity in place overseasin Israel, in China, in India, or even in Bulgaria. And at the other end, they have initial customer development under way internationally, not just in the United States.

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.