Professor Low is an experienced entrepreneur and a leading authority on entrepreneurship in independent, corporate and not-for-profit settings. Starting businesses in several industries led him to study how the entrepreneurial process differs by context. His current research examines the dynamics of entrepreneurial careers. As the founder of the Columbia Entrepreneurship Program, he has worked to make entrepreneurship a viable career option for MBA graduates. Low consults to both small and large companies, family businesses and not-for-profits. He teaches executive seminars in the areas of entrepreneurship and strategic management and makes frequent presentations to academic and industry groups. He has published widely in academic and practitioner journals and is a regular commentator in the media.
Murray Low: So what technology has done, which is absolutely wonderful for independent entrepreneurs, is it’s made the three-person shop as professional as the 30,000 person shop. And in some ways, it’s given an advantage to the smaller companies, because you’ve got all the access to technology. And it’s changed the economies of scale, of production and so just so wonderful in terms of individual productivity and the ability to link sort of virtual networks. So if I was to come up, suggest one other sort of factor that leads to successful entrepreneurial businesses, it’s not trying to do everything, focusing on the core things where you really add value and then getting other people, basically outsourcing and getting other people to sort share some of the risk and contribute their-- or make their contribution to business. So with technology, that’s just a lot easier, the communication, the control, the logistics are just much easier. And so technology has really given the independent entrepreneur a degree of freedom that never existed before. It’s created opportunities for small businesses to compete where they never would have been considered a player before. It gives them legitimacy.
Recorded on: 5/13/08