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Not so Tech; Not so Startup.

Posted on Jan 23, 2014 in Authored, The Economist

Originally posted in The Economist on January 23, 2014 Daniel Isenberg, who created the entrepreneurship ecosystem project at Babson Executive Education, thinks that our special report on tech startups, “A Cambrian moment”, promulgates the misimpression that entrepreneurship is exclusively, or even largely, about small, accelerated, lean social media startups. We invited him to write a reply. THE distinction between tech and non-tech entrepreneurship is false. Today, every business venture, entrepreneurial or otherwise, requires technology to be competitive, whether it is diamond trading, transportation, construction, or energy. There is nothing intrinsically more technological about Twitter and Facebook, say, than about Harley-Davidson or American Express. In fact, medical devices and alternative energy are arguably more technology-intensive, generically, than any of the report’s wide-eyed examples. Furthermore, for any business, anywhere, ignoring the opportunities and necessities presented by technology is backing light speed into...

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The Unexpected Upsides To Business Failure

Posted on Jan 22, 2014 in Interviews and Media Quotes, Miscellaneous blogs, Video

Originally published on on January 22, 2014 If at first you don’t succeed, you could be better off in the long run. It’s not as catchy as the actual saying, but it may be just as apt. As part of this week’s in-depth FOCUS report on second chances, we’re looking at the benefits of failure. And as WGBH News reporterAdam Reilly shows us, some area businesses are embracing failure in surprising ways. GUEST Daniel Isenberg is a professor of entrepreneurship at Babson College, an adjunct professor of management at Columbia Business School, and the author of “Worthless, Impossible, and Stupid: How Contrarian Entrepreneurs Create and Capture Extraordinary...

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4 Big Myths About Starting Your Own Company

Posted on Jan 21, 2014 in Authored, Bloomberg Businessweek

Originally printed in Businessweek on January 21, 2014 Entrepreneurship has become faddish of late, and business school students are not immune to the fervor. I have devoted more than 30 years to the study and practice of, and investment in, entrepreneurship, and here’s my advice: take a gimlet-eyed look at what the entrepreneurial life entails before you take the leap. Entrepreneurship is almost never about working in flip-flops in an incubator; it is tough work that requires extraordinary effort. It is super full-time and super risky. In today’s tough job market, “doing a startup” may sound better than “unemployed,” “getting my third master’s degree,” or “staying with my folks awhile.” But entrepreneurship is for those who are laser-focused on building a company that will scale; it is a marathon, not a sprint, usually requiring a decade or longer of commitment. Students, like the...

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If I was…setting out to be an entrepreneur

Posted on Jan 15, 2014 in Authored, Financial Times

Originally published in Financial Times on January 15, 2014 By Daniel Isenberg Daniel Isenberg has several roles, including professor of management practice at Babson College, founding executive director of the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project, and founder and chief executive of Entrepreneurship Policy Advisors. He has just published “Worthless Impossible and Stupid: How Contrarian Entrepreneurs Create and Capture Extraordinary Value”. Here, he uses his experience to set out what he would do if he planned to be an entrepreneur: If I were setting out as an entrepreneur today, I would buy an existing company to scale up rather than build a start-up from scratch. I would make incremental tweaks of improvement rather than innovate, exercise cool judgment rather than hot passion and build my departure plan from day one. Why would I not launch a startling new start-up from scratch?...

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Daniel Isenberg: “if it’s predictable, it’s not entrepreneurship.”

Posted on Jan 6, 2014 in Miscellaneous blogs

Originally published in Startup Tel Aviv by Natalie Edwards / January 6, 2014 Daniel Isenberg is an expert on how the public and private come together to create environments that foster entrepreneurship. IsraelDev invited Daniel to come to Tel Aviv University to talk about the opposite of that, how entrepreneurship can spur economic development, not just about how it’s happened in Israel but also how it could happen in emerging markets. Daniel Isenberg talking at Tel Aviv University Daniel is an important guy – he’s taught at Harvard, written books (“Worthless, Impossible and Stupid: How Contrarian Entrepreneurs Create and Capture Extraordinary Value”), worked on policy at forums and summits, and founded an institute, the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project, which reflects his expertise and professional mission. He’s also been an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and angel investor since he moved to Israel in the...

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