First Chapter Section 3
After lots of research and studies, researchers could not pin down clear-cut differences between entrepreneurs and other people with respect to what seemed to be the most relevant dimensions of personality. The conclusions of 30 years of research indicate that there are no personality characteristics that predict who will be a successful entrepreneur… Successful small business owners and entrepreneurs come in every shape, size, color, and from all backgrounds."
Indeed, research suggests that no one is born an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship is skills learned. We will do our best in this book to identify these skills and engineer a system to incubate motivation, innovation and creativity.
Why do some people recognize opportunities whereas others do not?
Why do some try to develop such opportunities whereas others do not?
The answer may be gained through careful study of the ways in which entrepreneurs and other persons think, observe, create, and motivate themselves.
The same research shows that entrepreneurs do attempt to make sense of the complex world around them with different sort of observation and motivation. We will call this skill mindfulness. This theory or system is the essence of this book.
But do entrepreneurs really differ from other people with respect to certain aspects of cognition, mindfulness, motivation, observation? And if they do, why is this the case? A small but growing body of research has addressed the first of these questions and points to the conclusion that entrepreneurs do indeed differ from other people with respect to some cognitive processes.
Writing more than 60 years ago, Schumpeter (1934) noted that: "The entrepreneur seeks to reform or revolutionize the pattern of production by exploiting an invention or, more generally, an untried technological possibility. … Entrepreneurship essentially consists in doing things that are not generally done in the ordinary course of business routine."
Except for the work of Eric Von Hippel, my research has shown a lack of intellectual interest in the field of entrepreneurship. Economists have also contributed relatively little to the debate about how the economy generates successful small businesses. It has long been noted that economics textbooks largely ignore the role of the entrepreneur and say little about the formation of the small enterprises that provide the beginnings of giant corporations. There are research on arts and creativity but not entrepreneurship and especially innovations in electronic industry and computers either. I have personally witnessed innovations, creativity, entrepreneurship on a daily basis in many semiconductor and electronic companies in Silicon Valley. I know the joy of creativity and the process of innovations. This book is about the ingredients of success in this process. Most important we will examine the exact obstacles that prevent people from engaging in creative processes. Research has shown that creativity is not the same as intelligence. In other words, creativity does not need high level of intelligence. Unfortunately those who become strongly identified with, and attached to, their intelligence can suffer from a big ego trap. It is important to recognize that many other qualities of mind reflect nobility and beauty of character much more than intelligence. Generosity, love, compassion, creativity or devotion do not depend on a high IQ.
The most important element of this book is about observation, seeing, and making sense of the information we receive mindfully. Knowing what mindfulness is and achieving mindfulness is to discover the intrinsic motivation, awareness, innermost qualities of your being, way deeper than your thoughts, that allows you to face the joy of the moments. Trying to see and observe the world, and what’s in it, in many different ways and different perspectives with mindfulness is the essence of creativity and motivation. The problem is most people have developed rigid ways and rules as how things should be. Mindful creativity can melt these rigidities and hence turn lives troubled by boredom and loneliness into lives that are rich and exciting.
In a discussion between Erwin Schrodinger and Niels Bohr about wave mechanics, Schrodinger objected, "Surely you realize that the whole idea of quantum jumps is bound to end in nonsense." To which Bohr replied, "What you say is absolutely correct. But it does not prove that there are no quantum jumps. It only proves that we cannot imagine them, that the representational concepts with which we describe events in daily life and experiments in classical physics are inadequate when it comes to describing quantum jumps. Nor should we be surprised to find it so, seeing that the processes involved are not the objects of direct experience." (W. Heisenberg, Physics and beyond, London: Allen & Unwin, 1971)
We will broadly touch on many reasons why we experience anything but creativity, however, I like to briefly discuss one of the most important and that is the process of learning.