I was lucky enough to have lunch last week with Daniel Isen
Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at Harvard Business Review. Daniel spoke to a small group from the IceHouse about his experience and views of global entrepreneurship from his start up experience and his research while at Harvard.
There were several stories and lessons that stood out for me; Distance is Irrelevant
- One of Daniel’s interests is understanding what makes highly entrepreneurial countries tick. One of the aspects that underlined high entrepreneurial countries, as measured by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor
, was the belief that distance from markets was irrelevant. Whether it was Israel, Iceland or New Zealand all despite their small size and distance from their key markets operated as if the distance was irrelevant.Power of Focus
- a clear simple vision and focus can be as strategically powerful as any physical advantage such as resources or intellectual property. One example which Daniel gave was of a small generic drug company that with no more than a clear strategic vision and great execution completely transformed the scale and scope of the business. It’s not about the uniqueness of the idea but how well things are executed.
Sales is the Key
- if there’s any skill aspiring entrepreneurs should focus on developing it’s sales. The entrepreneur has to sell their concept to the bank, to suppliers, to staff, to customer, over and over and over. The three key skills are sales, manufacturing and counting but sales is the key! So focus on developing your sales to kick start your entrepreneurial journey.
Innovation is in Everything
- one point to remember when talking about high tech marketing was to remember that innovation is not just the gadget or box but the whole thing, the software, the training, the services that come with it. If you are at parity or worse when you are comparing your product to your competitors then look to innovate in other areas. You can still beat your competition if you can excel around the edges.