Finding a tribe in Houston's entrepreneurial community
Insufficiently rearranged

Where Innovative Entrepreneurs Diverge

Budding entrepreneurs at recent Lean In meeting in Houston.



Many of us want to be our own bosses, but not many want to take the deep risk of starting something new and unique. You don't have to do so. Copying and franchising are honorable, but for some of us, hollow. So how can you be original? Proceed from your onlyness. Identify the unique combination of resources and capabilities available only to you. How Great Entrepreneurs Think 2011-Feb-1, by Leigh Buchanan

Saras Sarasvathy, a professor at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business, set out to determine how expert entrepreneurs think, with the goal of transferring that knowledge to aspiring founders....

Sarasvathy concluded that master entrepreneurs rely on what she calls effectual reasoning. Brilliant improvisers, the entrepreneurs don't start out with concrete goals. Instead, they constantly assess how to use their personal strengths and whatever resources they have at hand to develop goals on the fly, while creatively reacting to contingencies. By contrast, corporate executives—those in the study group were also enormously successful in their chosen field—use causal reasoning. They set a goal and diligently seek the best ways to achieve it. Early indications suggest the rookie company founders are spread all across the effectual-to-causal scale. But those who grew up around family businesses will more likely swing effectual, while those with M.B.A.'s display a causal bent. Not surprisingly, angels and seasoned VCs think much more like expert entrepreneurs than do novice investors.