Entrepreneurship Factor

Abstract of “Entrepreneurship Factor”

How does the entrepreneur affect society? What catalyst pushes him to pioneer the project that is in his mind? What constitutes the evidence of an entrepreneur? Where should he begin, and what foundations must be present? Is there an unwaveringly optimistic perspective in the entrepreneur? How significant is confidence and passion? Is there an element of entrepreneurship in all of us? What would happen if no one ever questioned the status quo?

Zach Baldwin

Kingdom Society Research

December 2013

Entrepreneurship Factor

What do Entrepreneurs look like, and how do they contribute to society?

For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

(Mat 13:12)

INTRODUCTION

How many people never actually experience a dream, a passion about something in our lives? Perhaps it’s the dream of becoming a policemen, or an astronaut when we grow up. Perhaps our naive, youthful endeavor is to become a scientist, or an NFL football player. These dreams often take dramatic turns early in life, as we realize the work required to achieve them. Other dreams may rise that are more realistic, to get accepted into a prestigious Ivy-league university and land a solid job. Many fall short of even this “more-attainable” goal, justifying it by the fact that “we didn’t work hard enough for it early enough”, or “a quicker route opened up…” Whatever it is, “fear of the unknown” may be keeping many from pursuing their real dreams… The question is, If that individual does not join into the field he truly desires, or start the intuitive that he longs to see happen, will someone else? What if he alone see’s that potential for reform, and “sit’s on it”?

DESIRE

What will that irritation, or ambitious idea inside lead a person to? Joe Robinson, in an article entitled “Do You Have What It Takes?” quotes Jett McCandless, founder of “CarrierDirect”, in Chicago –

“Should I take a comfortable, secure job, or could I build something better?” I was afraid that failure could define the rest of my life, and I wasn’t going to let that happen…”i (Robinson)

Perhaps this can also be taken to far, a fear of humiliation, with an eventual destination (if not careful) of an ego consuming his professional life, not to mention it’s reach into his personal life. But, for the sake of this discourse, let’s focus on the admirable characteristic of pursuing excellence. It seems to be a dying virtue in our modern day.

While the payoff can most-certainly be great, fear hold’s many back from even attempting. I have often used the famous old quote, “It is better to have loved and lost then to never have loved at all”. It dates back a poem written in 1850 by Alfred Lord Tennyson. It’s typical connotation is known that taking risks means benefit might come out, but not taking any will see no benefits guaranteed. Is the concept of “risk” considered bad, or even morally questionable. The bigger question is, Will the individual stand up and act out the life he wants? “Most entrepreneurs I know believe they will change the world,” says Jay Friedlander, a professor of sustainable business who works with entrepreneurs at the college of the Atlantic and at Babson College. “There’s an excitement and belief in what they’re doing that gets them through the hard times.” (Robinson)

PASSION

“Passion based on your company’s specific mission is an intrinsic drive that provides the internal reward that can sustain you between paydays.” (Robinson) Seeing the dream begin take form (even in theory), should begin a sense of anticipation, of freedom, and hope. This change isn’t just going to help others out exclusively, but you will likely be among those to benefit. Perhaps pushing harder is the most beneficial action for everyone (though they may not see it initially): “A lot of people told him (John Roulac, founder of Nutiva) to quit. Instead, he decided to go on the offensive and sued the Drug Enforcement Administration.” (Robinson) Sometimes pushing forward gives others the confidence on the topic to “think outside the box, and challenge old, rigid frameworks. “This is where the ultimate entrepreneurial test takes place, on the mental battlefield. You can go with fear and quit, or push through it… (Jill Blashack Strahan, founder and CEO of “Taste-fully Simple”) “We have the power to control our thoughts. When we commit to mentally, our actions follow.” (Robinson) Faith is alive and well in the entrepreneur spirit – it drives his progress, when he alone holds any plans towards the new initiative’s future.

LOOKING FOR THE GAP

The individual may have an enigmatic idea that he wishes to see realized in the world, or he may be discontent with the current setup of a system – and see’s a potential idea to implement in the field. “They imagine another world and have the ability to communicate that vision effectively to investors, customers and staff.” (Robinson) At some level, the Entrepreneur is an idealist. His theory begins as an image in his head. Often, the work for transferring it from theory to practical application is on him, at the very least, he must pitch his idea to those who would take the idea and run with it. In fact, even the motion of passing on the idea will often require a lot of work. When something isn’t working, the morally correct thing to do is make it right. Whether a belief in a universally-moral existence is there are not – something is present in Entrepreneurs, (and to a small extent, people in general). We want to achieve the highest possible state of life (even if it only exists as a passing though in our heads). “Americans looking at the collapse of corporate culture and finance, the loss of job security, and inscrutable government solutions are coming to the same conclusion as Fisker (Henrik Fisker, founder of “Fisker Automotive”): We don’t have to do things the same way. We can take the economy in hand and drive our own destinies.” (Daley)ii Humans will do whatever it takes to survive (though now there are signs that people are choosing not to meet even this bare standard…). Innovation keeps us looking forward to the future. “We’re seeing the beginnings of the entrepreneurial economy, a system built on nimble, low-overhead, oftentimes small companies with fluid workforces, rather than the massive conglomerates that have upheld the economy for decades.” (Daley) Innovation (ideas, theorys) have made that ‘acting-out’ of idea’s easy, and less of a risky endeavor. “Oddly enough, the recession seems to be adding momentum: “By choice or necessity, more people are pursuing self-employment as an alternative to an iffy corporate existence.” (Daley)

Perhaps some fear that there won’t be room for too much competition, and their attempts will be detrimental to their financial, and reputational position. But what is the alternative? The feeling of ‘what could have been’ then looms. The fact is, these individuals are leaders in society: “Indeed, the idea of entrepreneurship is so powerful right now and resonates with so many American values that President Obama has repeatedly called on entrepreneurs to lift the U.S. out of the economic crisis.” (Daley) They can be called: “Experts of Innovation”. Their questions, their challenging the status quo, their passion brings out excitement in the rest of us.

BUILD ON OTHERS FOUNDATIONS

Not much is genuinely original anymore, but new perspectives are. People are imprinted with incredible creative, and imaginary cores. One of the beauty’s of Free Will is that we can choose. Choose to accept or reject. Sometimes our rejecting can be very negligent, and adversely harmful to our well-being, and the well-being of others. In this case, we put faith in the aggressive executive forces placed over our society to enforce the laws that keep us safe. But for those whose ideas are enigmatically original, and sceptically, widely-influential – their ideas usually focused on the shifting of modern systems and scenarios. Yet their particular approach has to be their own. Someone sharing their vision is historically characteristic of Entrepreneurial inception. “French economist Jean-Baptiste Say…described the entrepreneur as one who “shifts economic resources out of an area of lower and into an area of higher productivity and greater yield,” thereby expanding the literal translation from the French, “one who undertakes,” to encompass the concept of value creation.1” (pg. 31, Martin and Osberg)iii

DEFINING ECONOMY DEMAND

Innovation done correctly may increase the boundaries defined by rules implemented. The customer or audience effected may not know what they are looking for until they are specifically directed to an new format, with new or increased refinement. The audience of a product, service, or industry can be developed based on it’s superior efficiency compared to the former option. “Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter built upon this basic concept of value creation, contributing

what is arguably the most influential idea about entrepreneurship. Schumpeter identified in the entrepreneur the force required to drive economic progress, absent which economies would become static, structurally immobilized, and subject to decay.” (pg. 31, Martin and Osberg) Schumpeter here implies that Entrepreneurs are essentially leading the logistical well-being of a society forward, as Alexander the Great did with the culture of Hellenistic Greece of old. “Successful entrepreneurship, he argues, sets off a chain reaction, encouraging other entrepreneurs to iterate upon and ultimately propagate the innovation to the point of “creative destruction,” a state at which the new venture and all its related ventures effectively render existing products, services, and business models obsolete.2” (pg. 31, Martin and Osberg)

FAILURES ARE A LEARNING CURVE

And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.”

(Gen 32:24-28, ESV)

When a system functions as expected, nothing is anticipated, or even desired to change it. When a system fails, or even falls short of an individual’s expectations – then refinements can be made. Failure is at the heart of change in mankind. Entrepreneurs often take the position one notch above failure – theorized, risk-laden plans. But why do these individuals get grands, and loans. Because the potential of their success is worth the support and backing of others, seeing even a hint of the image in the entrepreneur’s mind. “Entrepreneurs are believed to have an exceptional ability to see and seize upon new opportunities, the commitment and drive required to pursue them, and an unflinching willingness to bear the inherent risks.” (pg 31, Martin and Osberg) They take the risks as happy consequences of the future realization of a more beneficial system. The Entrepreneur “shoulder’s the burden”, until it is successfully functioning, and partnership is virtually risk-free. “The entrepreneur is inspired to alter the unpleasant equilibrium. Entrepreneurs might be motivated to do this because they are frustrated users or because they empathize with frustrated users.” (pg. 33, Martin and Osberg) The endeavor is almost always bigger then the individual. He is merely the initiator of an economic catalyst.

When there is a recession in the present economy, it is simply a state of mind in the individuals of the economy. Individuals make the economy they are apart of. Those who want or need an item, service, or organization will get it. Their actual property is their only limit, not the greater society’s perception of the economy large-scale. “Once inspired by the opportunity and in possession of a creative solution, the entrepreneur takes direct action. Rather than waiting for someone else to intervene or trying to convince somebody else to solve the problem, the entrepreneur takes direct action by creating a new product or service and the venture to advance it.” (pg. 33, Martin and Osberg) One of the greatest innovations of our modern age (economic or otherwise), is the internet. Beginning somewhere in the 1960’s, the military began to have a necessity to have uninterpretable access to scientists. It expanded as the personal computer explosion took place. (Gharbawi)iv

“When (Steve) Jobs and (Steve) Wozniak created the personal computer they didn’t simply attenuate the users’ dependence on the mainframe – they shattered it, shifting control from the “glass house” to the desktop.” (pg. 34, Martin and Osberg)

The general public were uneducated in the potential of the system, but when exposed to it’s possible uses, it became a major commodity. “Once the users saw the new equilibrium appearing before their eyes, they embraced not only Apple but also the many competitors who leaped into the fray.” (pg. 34, Martin and Osberg)

Economy is simply people collaborating on the concept of properties shared. What one has, another will purchase with his own property, finding more value in it then the other’s property then his own.

SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”

(John 18:36)

Roger L. Martin, and Sally Osberg, in their article: “Social Entrepreneurship: The Case for Definition”, make an impressive attempt at defining the distinction between the culturally-connotation of Entrepreneurship, and the subtly-different new concept of Social Entrepreneurship. They very-nearly cross over into the “social-activism” category, yet they distinctly exemplify that as a culturally-understood term, and try to register the difference with reason and evidence. They begin with a extensive observation of traditionally-understood entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurs are believed to have an exceptional ability to see and seize upon new opportunities, the commitment and drive required to pursue them, and an unflinching willingness to bear the inherent risks.” (pg 31, Martin and Osberg)

They make the one significant distinction (from Entrepreneurship) that it is not primarily financially-driven, but focuses on a societal element. It seeks to restructure a faulty system. Those who begin something, and a new self-sustaining equilibrium developed, may be placed in this category. (In defining Social Entrepreneurship) “…forging a new, stable equilibrium that releases trapped potential or alleviates the suffering of the targeted group, and through imitation and the creation of a stable ecosystem around the new equilibrium ensuring a better future for the targeted group and even society at large.” (pg. 35, Martin and Osberg) A person is drawn not directly by profit, or financial stability, but rather the solution of a problem. Often times, though, the creator, or envisioner , gets credit for his work by those benefiting from the new Equilibrium that results. This is the case with Linus Torvolts, creator of the Linux kernel. Another questionable example is Bill Gates. Having grown up with an interest in computer programming, he developed MS-DOS, building (of course) on the foundations of predecessors. His placement as an entrepreneur, or just an “indirect paradigm shifter” may be blurred, but the end result is quite obvious. Microsoft is now the leader in the Operating System Industry. “Entire new ways of doing business and new businesses sprang up to create a powerful ecosystem that simply couldn’t be disassembled.” (pg. 34, Martin and Osberg) The likes of these “Social Entrepreneurs” can come out of any ‘woodwork’… In 1981 Robert Redford invited 10 emerging filmmakers to Utah and asked them to craft films true to their own visions – not Hollywood’s. Over the next 25 years, his Sundance Institute ushered in the independent film movement, making room for artists in the industry.” (pg. 35, Martin and Osberg) Redford, in the midst of a successful career as a Hollywood actor, saw reason to expand the industry in a direction no one else thought of. He ushered in what is today the widely-popular “Indie film movement”.

BIBLICAL ASSOCIATIONS

The history of God’s interaction with Israel, and later, mankind in general – has been one where God is shifting their perspectives. In Genesis, Jacob switches his hands when bless Ephraim and Manasseh (Genesis 48). God chose David, the youngest of 12 sons, to be king of the nation (1st Samuel 16). God told Abraham that He would have a son in his old age (Genesis 21). Zachariah was promised a son in his old age, and that son was John the Baptist (Luke 1). These all besides the very clearly unavoidable expression of mysterious and divine power of God with the many miracles in Egypt, in the Wilderness, making the sun stand still during battle(Joshua 10). In the New Testament, the greatest shift came as the traditional Pharisee’s and Sadducee’s, as well as Torah-taught Jews, witnessed the prophet-prophesied Messiah do unprecedented miracles. The very incarnation of Jesus was a shifting of perspective to grand to the Pharisee’s to see “practically”, in front of them – though they accepted, and awaiting for the fulfillment of the prophecy in theory, as some still do today. And then later, in the beginning of the church, (as Jesus promised): fire was released. Scriptures calls it “flaming tongues of fire… (Acts 2:3) The scene was so outlandish to those who witnessed, there being a boldness very abruptly from the norm, that 3,000 were brought into the kingdom that day (Acts 2:41). Perhaps the most controversial is the contents of book of John’s Revelation itself. It contains sights, visions, sounds, creatures, and experiences leaving even the most eschatologically-learned individuals at the stage of “guess”.

The reality is that genuine innovation happens among society, but the God of Creation does not change, of His own accord. He may change methods as a result of man’s free-will decisions, but His direction originated all of existence preeminently, so our perspective of Him will constantly change.

References:

i Robinson, Joe. “Do You Have What It Takes?” ENTREPRENEUR Jan. 2014: 47-49. Print.

ii Daley, Jason. “The Entrepreneur Economy.” The Entrepreneur Economy. Entrepreneur Media, Inc., 25 Nov. 2009. Web. 25 Dec. 2013. <http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/printthis/204086.html&gt;.

iii Martin, Roger L., and Sally Osberg. “Social Entrepreneurship: The Case for Definition.”Stanford Social Innovation Review. Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, Spring 2007. Web. 24 Dec. 2013. <http://www.ssireview.org/articles/entry/social_entrepreneurship_the_case_for_definition>.

iv Gharbawi, Alaa. “Revolution of the Internet.” http://www.cs.ucsb.edu/. Department of Computer Science, University of California, Santa Barbera, n.d. Web. 26 Dec. 2013. <http://www.cs.ucsb.edu/~almeroth/classes/F04.176A/homework1_good_papers/Alaa-Gharbawi.html&gt;.

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