Entrepreneurs who commit themselves to the trade, attempting to build another business if their first one (or two) fail are more likely to succeed. In other words, entrepreneurship is more a learned skill than an innate talent, though the personality cults of Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs may lead you to believe otherwise.
The idea that starting a successful business takes practice comes most recently from research done at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. There, Professor Kathryn Shaw analyzed 2.8 million small retailers in Texas and found that business owners added longevity to their operations the more experience, i.e. “failures”, they had behind them. But, argues Shaw, her data allow business owners to recast these “failures” as merely obstacles on the pathway to success.
Shaw’s research demonstrates that the trend holds true for technology companies, which are difficult to measure given that venture capital is often required to start and sustain their operations. It also showed that areas with more chain stores, like Starbucks or Walmart, also support more mom-and-pop retailers.
In his Big Think Mentor interview, author John Butman gives advice about how to be an entrepreneur in the new idea economy, where ideas are the new widgets:
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