What is an Entrepreneur?

29 01 2012
English: Harvard Business School

The best answer I found comes from the Harvard Business School professor, Howard Stevenson.

“Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.” – Stevenson

Back in 1983, Stevenson told entrepreneur and teacher Jon Burgstone, “people tended to define entrepreneurship almost as a personality disorder, a kind of risk addiction. But that didn’t fit the entrepreneurs I knew,” he said. “I never met an entrepreneur who got up in the morning saying ‘Where’s the most risk in today’s economy, and how can I get some? Most entrepreneurs I know are looking to lay risk off—on investors, partners, lenders, and anyone else.” As for personality, he said, “The entrepreneurs I know are all different types. They’re as likely to be wallflowers as to be the wild man of Borneo.”

Stevenson’s definition focus’ on entrepreneurship as a process. “They see an opportunity and don’t feel constrained from pursuing it because they lack resources,” says Stevenson. “They’re used to making do without resources.”

The perception of opportunity in the absence of resources helps explain much of what differentiates entrepreneurial leadership from that of corporate administrators: the emphasis on team rather than hierarchy, fast decisions rather than deliberation, and equity rather than cash compensation. (1)

“Every time you want to make any important decision, there are two possible courses of action. You can look at the array of choices that present themselves, pick the best available option and try to make it fit. Or, you can do what the true entrepreneur does: Figure out the best conceivable option and then make it available.” – Burgstone

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Airbnb, A Self-Hosted Priceline

22 05 2011

Unlike Priceline.com, after signing into Airbnb via their Facebook integration, I quickly feel in love with the website’s social design. Airbnb uses community, conversation, and identity to creates a great experience for each viewer. The designers at Airbnb use many dynamics:

Simplicity:  It is extremely easy for viewers to become users. The website structure is simple and intuitive; anyone can navigate the website. This is great because what you want to do, is exactly what they’d like you to do—act. View’s use their Facebook account as an identity to surf Airbnb. This not only builds trust, the identity simplifies users actions.

Converging, Diverging and Conveyor Belts: When you sign-in, you choose either to look for a room or host a room. When users offer to host,users are directed and diversified by your city and type of place (such as a house, beach-front, or even a boat, etc).  When you look for a room, Airbnb offers you exactly what interest’s you based on instinctive appeal. Once directed to exciting places, like Cress Grove Manor, you see comments other’s have posted about the host before desciding. This architecture is very difficult to design, and part of what makes Airbnb so valuable to investors.

Roadblocks: Airbnb uses many game like features. In the example of roadblocks, hosts begin with limited actions until they complete desired tasks.  Once host post a picture and 250 word description, new path ways open up and more customizing is available, for example.

Are You Sure?: Without invading your Flow, options to save and confirm your movement throughout the site is constant. Similarly, this compares to pressing the call button after typing a phone number into the phone. Airbnb is exceptional at preventing errors.

Choices: Default prices are recommended for your room. The nights you set available are interactive in a calendar. No matter how you decide to price your room, finding the next move to book-up your room is a game you hosts love to play. Just like a MMOP, users are wheeling, dealing, and spending time on the user interface. Remember, Airbnb is a website designed so you do what they wants you to do; effortlessly have fun and make everyone money!

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What dynamics stand out the most when you surf the internet?