(1) “Yes, we can”Saying “Yes, we can,” when you’ve never done something before isn’t just unconventional thinking. It runs counter to conventional managerial wisdom which holds that one should “stick to one’s knitting” and only pursue opportunities for which the necessary competencies are in hand. Not so for entrepreneurs like Brazil’s Arnold Correia, who reinvented his business three times. First they say, “Yes, we can.” Then they figure out how.
(2) Beg, borrow, or stealIn many companies, the unspoken assumption underlying any new product or new market initiative is that the requisite resources should be rare, valuable, and inimitable and owned and controlled, not borrowed. When Alex and Mimi Ikonn started Luxy Hair, an online seller of hair extensions, they “borrowed” (and continue to borrow) virtually every resource they needed – from factory to warehouse to shipper to cash and more – to start and grow what is today a thriving entrepreneurial business.
(3) Think narrow, not broadIn many of today’s established companies, opportunities to serve narrow markets are handily rejected. “Too small; won’t move the needle,” they say. But, for Airbnb, the company’s initial focus only on convention-goers, only in San Francisco, an incredibly narrow target market at the outset – one that would scarcely have “moved the needle” for a larger company – has served Airbnb very well. Continue on the next page for the other components of an entrepreneurial mindset, including problem-first logic.
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