Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Definition: Entrepreneurship

Over the past month at a couple of local events, I’ve heard speakers offer two different definitions of Entrepreneurship:

1. “Leveraging resources to get things done”
2. “Prudent risk-taking.”

The first definition was offered by Christopher Keene of Active Grid Software at a SVASE lunch event last month that I’ve referenced in previous posts.

The second was provided today by Sean Murphy of SKMurphy, Inc. at a Technology Venture Corporation (TVC) event in Menlo Park. (If you are an entrepreneur, I absolutely suggest that you check out TVC and their FREE services!)

What is striking about these definitions of entrepreneurship?

Both definitions are verbs. In grammar school, we are all taught the basic definition of noun to be “a person, place, or thing.” But entrepreneurship as defined by Christopher Keene and Sean Murphy is an action.

This leads to a more philosophical discussion of entrepreneurship and what it is – a state of mind, an ever-evolving process of innovation, initiating new results, proactively acting on a business idea. Any of these definitions are arguably valid, and perhaps one of the reasons that entrepreneurship is such a challenging course of action is the subjectivity that plays into defining it.



Sean said...

I wish I could claim "prudent risk taking" as original with me as a definition for entrepreneurship but it's not. I heard it a while ago but can't place my hands on the original author at the moment. It's also referred to a "prudent speculation" in an older sense of speculating as risky investing.

Sean Murphy www.skmurphy.com

ckeene said...

Thanks for your post. There was a better one I heard while I was teaching at INSEAD, but it has slipped out of my leaky memory.

My post on the SVASE meeting is here

And of course there is more of the same at www.keeneview.com