Millions of new businesses are born every year – shouldn’t your idea become one of them? While entrepreneurs are typically grouped as studied innovators and experts, falling outside of these camps can actually be a benefit. Those who see and realize extraordinary value where others believed there was none are the real deal. It’s this contrarian mindset that global entrepreneurship expert Daniel Isenberg celebrates – and catalyzes – in his new book,Worthless, Impossible and Stupid.
Isenberg, a world-renowned authority on entrepreneurship and head of the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project (BEEP), reframes the phenomenon of entrepreneurship in terms of value creation and capture rather than of business ownership per se. He contends, “The entrepreneurial record is writ full of those who should succeed, but don’t; those who shouldn’t succeed, but do; those who almost crashed and burned, only to barely survive and take off; and those who were taking off, only to suddenly lose altitude and fail.”
Outstanding entrepreneurship isn’t about age, size, innovation or even reason. Through stories of real business builders who are “like you and me,” Isenberg challenges assumptions about what it takes to be an entrepreneur and compels ordinary, enterprising doers to embrace the worthless, impossible and stupid and turn them into valuable, possible and smart. While the contrarian mindset and process isn’t for everyone, small start-ups and established giants alike can prosper from both.
Isenberg, who has helped leaders around the world create the policies, structures, programs and cultures that promote entrepreneurial growth, believes that this redefinition of entrepreneurship will make it easier for practitioners and policymakers to have an impact. He says, “There are quite a few important implications of this reconceptualization, including the relationship between entrepreneurship and income inequality, the role of government and how it bears on the entrepreneur, and the minimal relevance of youth and inventiveness.”