So if entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity beyond the resources you currently control, with an emphasis on winning resources for your project -- who do you actually go about winning these resources?
A fictitious Bill Gates cartoon I posted last year offers some clues. If you can win tentative support from one party, it might be enough to win more than tentative support elsewhere. Pretty soon, everyone is less tentative and more supportive. However, another Bill Gates story, one that is less fictitious, offers perhaps a more interesting lesson in winning resources.
Bill Gates' mother, Mary Gates, sat on the board of directors of United Way, a charity in the Seattle King County area. Also sat on this board was John Akers, a senior IBM executive who would eventually become IBM's CEO. At the time, IBM only partnered with large companies. It is said that Mary Gates and John Akers had a discussion about IBM partnering with smaller computer firms that were emerging at the time. Several weeks later, IBM was enquired with Microsoft about buying an operating system from them for use in IBM's personal computers. Microsoft furnished them with MS-DOS, IBM personal computers went mainstream, and the rest is history.
What is the lesson from this story? Perhaps another way to win resources is ally yourself with powerful brokers (connectors) who can introduce you to the resources you need. In Bill Gates' case, it was his mother.
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