- Hardcover: 432 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press (January 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195131444
- ISBN-13: 978-0195131444
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1.5 x 6.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 19 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,634,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Origin and Evolution of New Businesses
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From Library Journal
The entrepreneurial function has long been overlooked both by economists and business theorists, though courses in entrepreneurship are increasingly popular in business schools. Bhid? (Harvard Business Sch.) draws on both of those disciplines for theory, which he then extends through the analysis of data from 100 interviews with leaders of high-growth companies. This groundbreaking work shows the complementary roles held by innovative startup companies in areas with high uncertainty and little financial investment and by more established companies, which focus on large-scale projects with more certain payoffs. The characteristics of promising startups and their founders are carefully outlined and contrasted with those of more established firms, and Bhid? explains why so few firms make the transition from successful startup to ongoing large enterprise. Offering a wealth of avenues for future research as well as insights for potential entrepreneurs, this book is sure to be cited for years to come.
-A.J. Sobczak, Covina, CA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Bhidecautions the reader that this is not a how-to book on the popular subject of entrepreneurship; rather, it looks at entrepreneurs mainly from an economic point of view. His work represents systematic research about starting and growing a new business, and Bhidecontends this approach is unique in the field. The book examines the nature of the opportunities that entrepreneurs pursue, problems and tasks they face, traits and skills they require, and the social and economic contributions they make; and then compares those realities with features of large, established companies. Entrepreneurs pursue opportunities with different levels of uncertainty, investment requirements, and likely profit. They survive and prosper because of an ongoing ability to adapt to opportunities and problems, are subjected to many detours, and stumble often along the way. This theory book will find a welcome reception in business schools that are focusing on courses in entrepreneurship and may also appeal to corporate executives who are trying to instill an entrepreneurial spirit in their employees. Mary Whaley
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To help spread the word, some of us have formed the new, free Small Business Chamber of Commerce to cooperate with local chambers across Colorado and eventually beyond to offer an alternative to the unhelpful SBA venture capital approach to startup. For more see our website SmallBizChamber(dot)org or our Facebook Page Facebook.com/Small.Business.Chamber
Bhide's concept of 'Investment, Uncertainty & Profit' is in my opinion a principle of entrepreneurship worth the price of the book. The concept has been used a lot and probably the best re-use / improvement was written by Keith McFarland in 'The Breakthrough Company', chapter Upping the Ante.
This is a major book that changed the academic and professional work on how we think about entrepreneurship. Thus, many books have been using Bhide's finding extensively including 'Extradordinary Entrepreneurship', which is to me the finest and very best book for any hands-on entrepreneur.
If you can wade through its sometimes text book-like prose, you will come away with some tremendous insightful nuggets. Bhide does a great job of blowing away some generally held myths about business creation and the men and women behind growing companies. Bottom line: don't stereotype them.
The author gives us a new perspective on new business formation. He discusses five types:
1. marginal businesses. These are hair salons, lawn care services, and other businesses that are simple and small-scale.
2. promising businesses. These businesses also start out at a small scale, but they are much more complicated because they are launched in turbulent markets with high levels of uncertainty. You are going into a market before most people even realize that there is such a market.
3. VC funded firms. These firms require more capital and a more solid business plan than promising new businesses.
4. Revolutionary ventures. These are VC funded firms on steroids (the venture funding may have to come from large enterprises), who take large risks while aiming for large profits.
5. Large enterprise innovation. Here, established companies launch new projects, which require large investments but have a high probability of success (think of Intel maintaining its lead in microprocessors).
This is an excellent theoretical scaffolding, to which Bhide is able to attach many interesting insights. Some are statistical. For example, in a large sample of successful small businesses, only 12 percent thought that the originality of their idea was what produced success. The rest attributed their success to "exceptional execution of an ordinary idea." p.32
Other insights are anecdotal, such as the descriptions of how companies adapted to customer demands.
If I were the type who used a highlighter to mark interesting passages, my copy of the book would be mostly yellow.
With its solid theory, statistical support, and anecdotal color, this book sets a new standard for books about entrepeneurship. No professor of business can afford to ignore this work.
General readers may find some faults with this book. If an academic tone puts you off, too bad for you. Go read "Seven Habits in Search of Chicken Soup" or something.
Another shortcoming is that the Internet receives no real mention. Email me for references to some essays on Internet entrepreneurship that I think are fairly consistent with the thrust of this book.
Overall, I give the book my strongest favorable recommendation.