Chapter 7

Opportunity and the Entrepreneur

In Chapter 6, Joanne discussed opportunity recognition in the context of corporate entrepreneurship. In this chapter, I discuss opportunity recognition in the context of entrepreneurship and will refer back to some of the content in Chapter 6.

One of the more elusive aspects of entrepreneurship is opportunity recognition, the process by which an opportunity is identified. In Chapter 6, we stated that ideas are only the beginning of the journey; I couldn't agree more. When I write about opportunities, I am not referring to ideas. I get approached with new ideas every day that never amount to an opportunity. I could get all philosophical on you and delve into the historical meanings of an idea from Plato to Hume, but I prefer to take a more direct approach and state that an idea is a concept or thought that comes to an individual mind. Ideas are easier to come by than opportunities. You get them as you ride the subway, walk through an airport, take care of your kids, and just live your life. Ideas are not opportunities; instead they serve as the building blocks for opportunities. In Chapter 6, we defined an opportunity as a match between a need in the marketplace (hidden or explicit) and a product or service offering that fills that need. I like to think that an opportunity transforms an idea to the point where it has the promise or potential to be converted into an innovative market offering.

Opportunity Recognition

Last year, two students, ...

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