Chapter 4. Alchemy of Entrepreneurship


Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works.

You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it.

Then you do something else.

The trick is the doing something else.

 --Tom Peters, business speaker

In the New Economy, as in the old, success is measured the old fashioned way—by wealth. As the dotCom crash illustrated, innovation without income is maladaptive and incompatible with survival in the marketplace. Even the poster children in the New Economy, such as, have been forced to demonstrate to Wall Street that they are capable not only of generating revenue but of long-term profitability. But what is the connection between economic success and a better mousetrap, and where are the customers that are supposed to be beating a path to the company's door? Unfortunately, unlike building the baseball field in Field of Dreams, which had generations of baseball fans willing to pay to see an established product, simply creating a new product will not be sufficient to make customers come. It is not enough for a company to come up with a better product or technology for customers to line up to buy it.

Transforming a product (whether it is a better mousetrap or a new wireless communications device) into money is an alchemical event that is often at least as difficult as creating a technologically solid product. Economic alchemy, also known as entrepreneurship, is a form of magic practiced by a CEO or other decision ...

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