The Perceived Entrepreneur & The Mozart Effect

The Perceived Entrepreneur & The Mozart Effect

Deniz Erkan: Software startup co-founder

December 5, 2007 6:14 p.m.


So, who is an entrepreneur? Are you born an entrepreneur and can you become an entrepreneur?

First, a quick look at the history and the meaning of the word across different cultures:
The French economist J.B. Say said around 1800 that "An entrepreneur
shifts economic resources out of an area of lower, into an area of
higher productivity and yield". In the United States, entrepreneurs are
typically thought of the people who starts his own, new and small business.

It’s quite interesting that Germans actually identify the term
"Entrepreneur" with power and property, which is even more misleading. The "Unternehmer", the
literal translation into German of J.B. Say’s "entrepreneur", means a
person who owns and runs a business. (the English term would be
"owner-manager"). It’s actually used to specifically distinguish the
owner from the "hired" managers and everybody else for that matter.

But, there’s something specific about the entrepreneur that
differentiates it from a regular business owner or an owner-manager.
Something unique and it’s not the popular personality traits commonly
showcased in Hollywood films or Donny Deutsch’s shows in CNBC. It’s
true that they are the ones who are more extrovert and visible with
probably a good PR person behind them. Since they are the ones who are
more out there in the field, it skews the perception of the
entrepreneur within the public eye in a certain way : the typical high
risk-taking , natural curious-adventurist, or up-to-the-challenge
extrovert stunt boy No, I’m not talking about a personality trait here.
In fact, on the contrary, I know so many entrepreneurs who carry the
opposite personality traits.

There’s one thing common in all entrepreneurs and in true
entrepreneurial activity…A key differentiator. And it’s not about who
they are, it’s about what they do and how they do it.

For instance, yet another cafe opening in your neighborhood with no
distinct set of features other than the proximity to the people around
the area, banking on the increasing and perhaps a bit saturated trend
on socializing around coffee and delicatessen consumption outside, is
not entrepreneurial. The owner might have just quit his sweet job as an
account manager in Starbucks and loves to do bungee jumping in Whistler
for fun. It sure is a small business and could be a financially
successful one too, but it’s not necessarily entrepreneurial. it’s
definitely not because the owner likes bungee jumping and it’s not
entrepreneurial unless the business creates a new satisfaction or new
consumer demand.

It’s actually not related to their personality, but related to how
they do things there’s a tool they constantly use, an instrument. In
fact, quite a musical one.

Next Post: What does this have to do with Mozart? What is the key differentiator?

Deniz Erkan

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