David Kenny on Entrepreneurship
Kenny is Chairman and CEO of Digitas and is a member of the Publicis Groupe Executive Committee, the P12. He leads the Group's overall digital and interactive strategy. Beginning with his appointment as CEO in 1997, Kenny has led Digitas through a decade of evolution and growth to an industry-leading position in digital and direct marketing services. Prior to Digitas, Kenny was a senior partner in the global strategy consulting firm Bain & Company from 1991 to 1997. He was named to its Policy Committee in 1995 at the age of 33. Prior to his consulting career, Kenny held marketing and strategy positions with General Motors Corporation. Kenny holds a B.S. from the General Motors Institute (Kettering University) and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He is a board member for Teach For America and a director of The Corporate Executive Board.
Kenny: I think America has always welcomed entrepreneurs. It’s created good environments for them. It’s created good capital behind them, and I think it’s still a great place for great leaders with vision and courage to launch an idea. I also believe that China and India are welcoming in entrepreneurs and sponsoring entrepreneurs, and there’s capital flowing into those markets, and there’s capital flowing into parts of Latin America and Australia and even parts of Europe as well. So, I don't think America has a lock on the entrepreneurial environment. What I also believe in America, for a combination of human needs, whether it be, you know, a need for control or a need for financial success, that some people have tried to be entrepreneurs who aren’t, and I think fellow entrepreneurs actually cause a problem because you see a lot of people starting businesses but without the courage and conviction to follow them through. I see less of that in some of these other markets where it actually is a bigger risk to become an entrepreneur, and therefore the entrepreneurs are stronger, and I think what’s going to be important in a more global world is that American entrepreneurs understand that they don’t have a leg up, that they have to compete on a level playing field and that they’re not as committed to their ideas as their colleagues on the other side of the world they’re not going to win.
David Kenny talks about how America has generated a climate that engenders entrepreneurs—and how it can set the standard around the world.
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