The Role of the Entrepreneur
What is the purpose of an entrepreneur? To make money? To grow a business? I recently read a few comments from Jeff Atwood that I agree with:
“Nobody should build things out of desire to be an ‘entrepreneur’. You should build things because they need to exist.”
“Startups are like cancers, remember? They have to grow because they have to grow.”
And finally, “It is more important to be continually evolving than pursuing growth for growth’s sake.”
Too often a new company thinks it has to grow because that’s what new companies do. I am of the opinion that if a startup is creating a product that needs to exist, and is focusing its efforts on perfecting that product, then growth will take care of itself. The same could be said about making money.
What would happen if all entrepreneurs and startups were focused on one thing -making the world a better place? I would contend that, if this were the case, startups would be more successful more often. In order to truly succeed, we have to have a vision and purpose that extends beyond our bottom line. We have to want to do more and be more than a wealthy person or a large business.
I remember a comment from one of Jim Collin’s books stating that Disney’s business is to make people happy. I would argue that not only is Disney meeting that objective, but their bottom line is also OK. When we set out to achieve something great, thriving businesses are often the byproduct of those endeavors.
Let’s build something that brings real value to the world. Let’s build something that has purpose beyond dollars and cents. Let’s build something that we can be proud of. If we do that, everything else will take care of itself.