August 14, 2012
News & Opinion: The Rebel Entrepreneur
In recent years, a handful of books have been written about entrepreneurship as a disruptive practice. Whether talking about bootstrapping, throwing out the business plan, improvising, or a number of other non-traditional approaches, entrepreneurship itself has almost become a rebellious act. Jonathan Moules, an enterprise correspondent for the Financial Times, spent years talking with hundreds of companies with a variety of experiences. For the successful ones, Moules noticed patterns that pointed toward their rebellious entrepreneurial approach. This book is his description of, and thoughts on, those traits. Titled, The Rebel Entrepreneur: Rewriting The Business Rulebook, it is filled with well-written accounts of some of the lessons he learned from both longtime business giants, and even newer successful startups. Of the key traits Moules identifies: don't rely on others to fund your idea, imitate creatively, keep value higher than price, pivot often, and more. Here's a sample from the book where Moules sums up the chapter on imitation over innovation:
Copying can be good for both the innovator and the imitator. It can increase the size of a market, thus increasing the prize for the eventual market champion...Aping another model can be useful even if you do not become the largest player in the market, because you may well become an acquisition target for one of your competitors. As a result, you have a perfectly acceptable exit strategy.For those that have read books like Rework and Chris Guillebeau's books, some of this might not be new information, but it supports the thesis from those books and offers new readers a glimpse into an alternative way to go about their business, and likely one with a higher chance for success.