Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Topics in Entrepreneurship

Last week I had the good fortune of sitting in on the thought pieces presented by Professor Garud's 1st year entrepreneurship class. The topics were very unique and very intellectually stimulating. Needless to say, I learned a lot.

Some general thoughts as I heard the presentations:

Bootstrapping using viral marketing - Viral marketing is a very powerful tool but it has the possibility to be very dangerous as well. Two thoughts on this matter, with the proliferation of viral marketing, it will eventually lose its effectiveness. In the future, entrepreneurs need to innovate the way viral marketing is done. By this, I mean, the fun, engaging, personal form of viral marketing will evolve. What is important to understand, is what characteristics will be transferable and which will not.

Secondly, viral marketing can emulate the wrong message. Consider Molson's attempt to use social media and attract a younger audience. Their campaign attracted underage drinking and excessive drinking. 2 traits that are obviously frowned upon and a movement away from their brand image. Controlling brand image will get a lot harder.

Ecopreneurship- Solid presentation on a controversial topic. In order for this trend to take off, education on global warming and alternative forms of energy need to be enhanced. Maybe this topic could be linked with viral marketing to promote awareness.

Ecopreneurs should also understand that once the demand that they create is established, larger corporations like Chevron will enter the market. Either by acquisition or by research and development.

Institutional Entrepreneurs-Very applicable to the majority of the students as they will likely join an institution and will need to find ways to become innovative. Process innovation may be more applicable and easier to implement rather than product innovation. There are only so many companies like Apple and Sony who value innovation.

Social Entrepreneurship- On a side note, its encouraging to see so many individuals interested in social issues. What social entrepreneurs must realize is that while it is nice to do social good, their ultimate goal is to be sustainable. Community banks are a great idea but because they aren't profit motivated, they are at a higher risk to default. Thus there is the proverbial balancing act between social good and profit maximization.

No comments: