Over the years I’ve met lots of other entrepreneurs and it seems that we fall into a number of groups
- Get rich quickers
- Driven innovators
- Social impactors
- Domain experts
Get Rich Quickers
My cousin Paul is a get rich quicker. Every time I see him he is coming to me with a new scheme. One year it was a plan for a chain of fast food restaurants. The next it was importing lurid chinese toys into the UK.
Everything he does is driven by the desire to make cash quickly. He doesn’t care about the business, what value it creates or his customers. He sees opportunity and is there to make money.
Sometimes he hits it big. A couple of years ago I was flooded with Bitcoin get rich quickers. I had dozens of people coming to me asking how to create a successful bitcoin or cryptocurrency startup. Most had no technical knowledge or domain experience. They had simply heard or seen that bitcoin was going to be big. So they started a business to get in.
This group of innovators is constantly driven to change the world. The common motivation here is curiosity. Why are things like that, what would happen if they were different? How can I make them different?
This seems to be something you learn early or maybe its genetic. It’s often an ability to connect the dots in a way that makes no sense, until you actually do it. Then it’s obvious and impressive.
Driven innovators will do this in whatever field they happen to be. I started my career in the railways, a very conservative industry. My innovative drive was stultified by the culture there. Later whatever I worked on, wherever I was there was always opportunity to innovate and improve things. My friend Sunil happily works to improve china plate making, video image processing and corporate meetings. Same core set of skills. Different locations.
These are the entrepreneurs who are driven by a social mission to change the world. A driven innovator is driven by their underlying behaviour patterns. They’ll tinker with whatever they have wherever they are. A social impactor is driven by the big vision.
They see the end and then go out and figure the means to change it. This captures some of the greater entrepreneurs. Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk both have clear visions of the change that they want to create. The technology is a tool and a way for them to create that change.
Unlike the driven innovators it is a far more focused approach to entrepreneurship. As Kant would say, they are focused on ends, not means.
There is a final class of entrepreneurs. This is people who have extensive domain knowledge of a particular field. There is a problem in it and they want to solve it. The problem nags and irritates them, until, given the right circumstances they step up to the mark and start solving it.
One of my friends makes soap for exactly this reason. She couldn’t find the right soap for her skin type. She kept looking and looking and looking. Then eventually started making her own, then selling it and then a company was born.
Most of these character types are based on how entrepreneurs behave. They are personality traits.
What ties them together is a frustration with the status quo and an inability to accept it. They must get out there and create change. For some, it is specific types of change. For others, it just has to be changed because change itself is a good.
How can you use this answer to become a better entrepreneur?
Each type has strengths and weaknesses. Knowing which you are helps you build a much more supportive environment around you. When I work with Get-Rich-Quickers, we spend more time on a robust analysis of the opportunity and their capabilities to stop them jumping into every puddle for a gleam of gold.
With driven innovators like myself it’s really important to keep us away from things that are working well. Somethings really do not need to be ‘improved’.
Social impactors can have larger gaps, than other types of entrepreneurs, between the vision and reality, and need more support to fill it. Domain experts can miss the whole, need to run a profitable business thing, as they slv the problems that obsess them .
Are you an Entrepreneur?
Are you copying a business model?
Are you creating a new one?
I can help you get it right