Commentary

Entrepreneurial current events: November 28, 2011


Babs CarryerThere are a few things that I read recently that are of interest to us entrepreneurs:

  • Global advertising agency, Euro RSCG Worldwide named Pittsburgh’s tech community as one of the top five trends to watch in 2012.
  • Interesting article in the NY Times about the pull of the finance industry (Wall Street) on top-tier graduating students from Yale, Harvard, Stanford, etc. The article discusses the contradiction of students taking these jobs when what they want is to change the world. A group of Stanford students started a national student organization called Stop the Brain Drain committed to empowering more young people to solve America’s greatest challenges by combating Wall Street recruitment.
  • Another interesting article in the NY Times entitled “Generation Sell,” which talks about the ideal social form for the Millennial Generation being the small business: “Bands are still bands, but now they’re little businesses, as well: self-produced, self-published, self-managed.” The author goes on to say, “Our culture hero is not the artist or reformer, not the saint or scientist, but the entrepreneur.”
  • Finally, my favorite article from recent reading is Jim Collins writing about his new book, “Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck – Why Some Thrive Despite Them All,” in the NY Times, “What’s Luck Got To Do With It?” The book is the result of a nine-year research study of some of the most extreme business successes of modern times. Collins examined entrepreneurs who built small enterprises into companies that outperformed their industries by a factor of 10 in highly turbulent environments. Collins calls them 10Xers. The NY Times article summarizes Collins’ point that the critical question is not whether you are lucky or not, but do you leverage luck – he calls it return on luck, or ROL: “Luck, good and bad, happens to everyone, whether we like it or not. But when we look at the 10Xers, we see people like Mr. Gates who recognize luck and seize it, leaders who grab luck events and make much more of them.” Collins goes on to say that “10Xers shine when clobbered by setbacks and misfortune, turning bad luck into good results.” He concludes that “resilience, not luck, is the signature of greatness.”
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