Monday, November 8

The New Entrepreneur :: AO

[ Via Emergic ] William Reichert of Garage Technology Ventures writes :

Intro to the article :

Silicon Valley did not invent the entrepreneur, but it certainly shaped the stereotype over the years: from Bob Noyce and the Fairchildren with their Cold War pocket protectors and engineer buzz cuts, to Jobs and Wozniak shaggy and jean-clad, dropping out and changing the world from their garage, to Page and Brin parlaying a Ph.D. project into billions. Famous entrepreneurs throughout high tech are elaborations and variations on the stereotype—Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Michael Dell—and have created for us the model of the bold, brash, aggressive, passionate, wildly successful entrepreneur.

As the tech world emerges from its long, painful drought, investors hearken back to these standards of entrepreneurship. Gone are the "tourists," as one VC disparaged the dot-com generation. Back are the "old-fashioned entrepreneurs," as another VC referred to them: the gritty company builders who want to create something of lasting value, not just make a quick buck. As my partner Guy Kawasaki puts it, the post-drought generation of risk-averse investors is now more interested in "serial" entrepreneurs who have been there and done that, and less interested in "cereal" entrepreneurs who are still eating Cap'n Crunch for breakfast.

To be sure, the entrepreneurs starting companies today are not like the ones we saw, and now ridicule, in the late 90s. But they are also not like the ones we saw in the 80s and early 90s. We are not going back to an earlier breed of entrepreneur. If you are an investor looking for the kind of entrepreneur who built companies in the "good old days," you are making a mistake. The innovators who are creating companies today represent a new breed of entrepreneur, a species that can trace its lineage back through each of the species that went before, but which is very different nonetheless.....