Entrepreneurs in High Technology: Lessons from MIT and Beyond

By Edward B. Roberts | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
The Makings of an Entrepreneur

Creation of a high-technology entrepreneur occurs over a long time, critically affected by many elements of society: The entrepreneur's family molds her or him, schools and work organizations help the entrepreneur to mature and gain knowledge and skills, the surrounding community provides influencing role models and resources. Beyond those largely intangible influences provided by the neighboring environs, as discussed in Chapter 2, my quarter century of research provides concrete data on hundreds of individuals (almost all men) who have become entrepreneurs, their personal background, education, work experience. This chapter reviews the literature on both general and technical entrepreneurs and then evidences some primary influences on becoming a high- technology entrepreneur.


The Entrepreneurial Mystique

Until recently the creators of new enterprises have been treated in the literature only in the folkloric tradition of Horatio Alger. Extensive accounts of the lives of men like J.P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, and the Rothchilds produce a feeling for the spirit and mystique of these capitalist giants. Entrepreneurship had not been subjected to much more careful scrutiny. The few empirical scholars, however, do provide some important concepts to consider for extension to the new high-technology entrepreneur.


Classical Perspectives

Earlier scholars of entrepreneurship have backgrounds that range from economics to psychology. Joseph Schumpeter ( 1966), a great economist, glorifies the entrepreneur as the motivating force behind technological change and economic development. David McClelland ( 1961), primarily a social psychologist, also ties the entrepreneur to the elements of economic change and growth, but his writings are strongly oriented to those psychological characteristics of entrepreneurs that make them likely to become business innovators. With a strong empirical and psy-

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Entrepreneurs in High Technology: Lessons from MIT and Beyond
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Contents xi
  • Chapter 1 High-Technology Entrepreneurs 3
  • References 30
  • Chapter 2 an Environment for Entrepreneurs 31
  • References 45
  • Chapter 3 the Makings of an Entrepreneur 47
  • Summary and Implications 94
  • Notes 96
  • References 97
  • Chapter 4 the Technological Base of the New Enterprise 100
  • Summary and Implications 121
  • References 123
  • Chapter 5 the Financial Base of the New Enterprise 124
  • Summary and Implications 156
  • Chapter 6 Evolving Toward Product and Market-Orientation 160
  • Notes 186
  • References 186
  • Chapter 7 Finding Additional Financing 188
  • References 215
  • Chapter 8 Going Public 217
  • Summary and Implications: Sizzle or Steak 242
  • References 244
  • Chapter 9 Survival Versus Success 245
  • Chapter 10 Product Strategy and Corporate Success 281
  • Notes 306
  • References 308
  • Chapter 11 Super-Success 309
  • Notes 336
  • References 338
  • Chapter 12 Technological Entrepreneurship: Birth, Growth, and Success 339
  • References 358
  • Appendix a Quarter Century of Research 359
  • References 375
  • Index of Founders and Firms 377
  • Subject Index 381
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