What Is Entrepreneurship? [part 2]

by The TECHdotMN Team

We’ve been banging the local tech startup drum for over six years now — the loudest and longest news beat of its kind.

And naturally over time we get curious about things…big things, small things, all the things.  So earlier this year we really started scratching at this concept of entrepreneurship, both on the record and off the record.

You hear the word a lot as it’s become quite common in our modern business vernacular. Yet it’s quickly going from mainstream to meaningless, like “innovation” which once conveyed a distinct act, now just rhetorical platitude.

So, what is entrepreneurship?

Well, that depends entirely on who you ask!  And if — as creators and consumers — we’re not asking, then we’re not learning.

There’s a long and windy history of entrepreneurship originating in 17th century France. While this isn’t the time and place to theorize around all that, we’ve created our own internal basic working definition to both understand and articluate:

“Entrepreneurship is the process of identifying an explicit problem or implicit need in the market and creating a for­ profit business entity to addresses the inefficiency with mutual economic value exchange between owner and customer. It involves sourcing, organizing and allocating the necessary resources, while assuming both the risks and rewards associated with the endeavor.”

Deliberately pedantic so that our audience knows what we mean as we continue to champion entrepreneurship as we see it.

We welcome your feedback or critique, and encourage you to develop your own guiding principles, while holding others accountable to some sort of concrete meaning whenever applying the word.  At stake is the erosion of efforts from hundreds of individuals locally who are leading by doing. They explify the art + science associated with solving a problem and capturing value in the marketplace.

Because just as not all entrepreneurs are created equal — not all types of entrepreneurship function the same.


What Is Entrepreneurship? [part 1]


  • http://twitter.com/casey__allen Casey Allen

    Related, if you really want to get people riled up, ask “When should a startup stop being referred to as a startup?”

    Hilarity and heated philosophy will ensue.

    • http://tech.mn Jeff Pesek

      aha will keep that in mind in the event we want to rile people up. Meanwhile, just tweaked our working definition slightly…the fundamentals remain constant: identify a problem, figure out how to solve said problem, and if solving it is worth anything to anyone – form a biz & get paid for the risk/efforts.

      Seems simple (to define, not do) right? Ask the next person who uses the word what they mean and see what kind of response you get; it might indicate whether or not they understand, even in their own head, what they are talking about.