Product details

By continuing to use our site you consent to the use of cookies as described in our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.
You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them.
Management article
-
Reference no. R0108B
Authors: Dan Bricklin
Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Published in: "Harvard Business Review", 2001
Length: 6 pages

Abstract

Every aspiring entrepreneur can recite the truisms of the business: Feel comfortable with risk, hire the best people, do what you love, and don''t do it for the money alone. Nevertheless, the road to success can be a scramble from one slippery rock to another. And no one knows that better than Dan Bricklin, creator of VisiCalc, the first electronic spreadsheet. In this first-person account, Bricklin, now on his fourth start-up, describes his life as an entrepreneur and professional tinkerer. In addition to the usual suspects for creating a business--solid training, talent, and good timing--he suggests that entrepreneurs need a few more tricks in their bags to thrive during the inevitable ups and downs. First, entrepreneurs need to understand what value they bring to their endeavors. They have to know their limits, both in terms of evaluating their penchant for risk and personal sacrifice and recognizing when their ambitions exceed their skills. They may, for instance, need others to step in when their own talents don''t match their businesses'' current needs. Second, entrepreneurs shouldn''t wait to get started. Or, if they do wait, they should understand that as time goes by, they may become less willing to sacrifice their standard of living for their businesses. Third, entrepreneurs need to recognize that they are not their businesses. They must remember that their companies'' failures don''t make them awful people. Likewise, their companies'' successes don''t make them geniuses or superhumans. Indeed, training, talent, and good timing are essential, but entrepreneurs must also have a true passion for what they''re doing, and they must possess the humility to know when they need help. Many of today''s dot-com entrepreneurs, Bricklin says, have paid a price for their arrogance. Others can learn from their mistakes.

About

Abstract

Every aspiring entrepreneur can recite the truisms of the business: Feel comfortable with risk, hire the best people, do what you love, and don''t do it for the money alone. Nevertheless, the road to success can be a scramble from one slippery rock to another. And no one knows that better than Dan Bricklin, creator of VisiCalc, the first electronic spreadsheet. In this first-person account, Bricklin, now on his fourth start-up, describes his life as an entrepreneur and professional tinkerer. In addition to the usual suspects for creating a business--solid training, talent, and good timing--he suggests that entrepreneurs need a few more tricks in their bags to thrive during the inevitable ups and downs. First, entrepreneurs need to understand what value they bring to their endeavors. They have to know their limits, both in terms of evaluating their penchant for risk and personal sacrifice and recognizing when their ambitions exceed their skills. They may, for instance, need others to step in when their own talents don''t match their businesses'' current needs. Second, entrepreneurs shouldn''t wait to get started. Or, if they do wait, they should understand that as time goes by, they may become less willing to sacrifice their standard of living for their businesses. Third, entrepreneurs need to recognize that they are not their businesses. They must remember that their companies'' failures don''t make them awful people. Likewise, their companies'' successes don''t make them geniuses or superhumans. Indeed, training, talent, and good timing are essential, but entrepreneurs must also have a true passion for what they''re doing, and they must possess the humility to know when they need help. Many of today''s dot-com entrepreneurs, Bricklin says, have paid a price for their arrogance. Others can learn from their mistakes.

Related