Perhaps the biggest question in entrepreneurship has always been whether it can be taught. In other words, what impact can theory have on the success of young companies? Opinions are pretty much divided, but because entrepreneurship has such a special place in our hearts (those poor little entrepreneurs need all the help they can get), we have a consensus that all efforts boosting entrepreneurship must be good.
If you’re clever, you’ve already guessed that that’s not my opinion. In fact, a lot of what we do in the name of entrepreneurship is an actual disturbance and counterproductive to nailing real growth and success. Let’s explore why.
Focusing on the wrong problem
Traditional entrepreneurship takes the view of a new company being established by an individual we call an entrepreneur. The problem entrepreneurship tries to solve is, in other words, how can we teach the entrepreneur enough about running a company, in order for her to have a better chance to succeed.
And this is where everything goes wrong, big time. First of all, a startup is not a company but a team, and the problem is not running a company but finding a repeatable, profitable and scalable business model. Setting up and running a company is the prime hindrance to finding real customers with real problems and nailing growth. It directs teams to take short cuts with understanding customers that eventually lead to their demise.
Nailing the startup problem first
Confusing startups with the job of running companies is like trying to solve world peace and world hunger in one attempt. But that’s impossible, we all know it. If you manage to nail the startup problem, you can go on to nail the entrepreneurship problem, but don’t do them both at once. Don’t think you can build a company based on an idea and be successful without taking time learning first-hand about customers and validating who you’re launching to and how.
The startup problem is a universal problem all businesses face. It is the problem of building growth by launching new products and services customers don’t yet know about. If you’re more interested in launching something successful, not just starting a company, then get on board the Startup Cup.
The startup cup teaches the startup method for innovation
So back to the original question, can entrepreneurship be taught? The answer is yes, but not the way it’s been taught today, but by teaching startup marketing as the method for innovation. So stop focusing on setting up companies prematurely and clear the way for creativity, innovation and growth.
Startup Cup is not about creating thousands of new companies, but about teaching thousands of students the startup method. A method that is as useful in your career at a corporation as it is if you choose the entrepreneurial path and end up starting your own company.
So don’t launch another company, master the method to become a startup talent!