Entrepreneurs have no money. Corporations are loaded.
Entrepreneurs have little experience. Corporations are loaded.
Entrepreneurs have access to few experts. Corporations are loaded.
Entrepreneurs have no reputation or brand. Corporations are loaded.
And yet the history of the last 60 years shows that entrepreneurs have a much better track record than corporations in the launching and building of unicorns.
· Sam Walton beat Kmart when big-box stores emerged.
· Jeff Bezos beat the biggest booksellers in the world when Internet 1.0 took off.
· Page and Brin beat the biggest information technology companies in the world when Internet search took off.
· Mark Zuckerberg beat Rupert Murdoch when Internet 2.0 emerged.
· Kalanick and Chesky beat the long-established transportation and hospitality giants to dominate with Uber and Airbnb when Internet 3.0 emerged?
Based on the track record of leaders from Sam Walton in the 1960s to Jeff Bezos in the 1990s and Brian Chesky and Eric Yuan in the 2000s and 2010s, and a whole host of entrepreneurs in between, here are three reasons why billion-dollar entrepreneurs beat corporate executives:
· Embracing Emerging Industries: Entrepreneurs seize the untapped potential of emerging industries, a realm where corporations often hesitate to venture due to short-term interests and aversion to risks. Industry titans like Sam Walton, Jeff Bezos, and Eric Yuan made their mark by recognizing and capitalizing on revolutionary new opportunities. By contrast, corporations, despite having innovation and business development experts, remained absent from these nascent fields, leaving the path open for entrepreneurs to disrupt and dominate.
· Reducing Startup Risk in Emerging Industries. Entrepreneurs accept the inherent risks of starting a new venture, which sets them apart from risk-averse corporate executives. While many entrepreneurs enter emerging industries, only a few discover the winning strategy, and fewer have the skills that catapult them to success. The high failure rate for VC-funded ventures compels VCs to reduce the risk of venture development by delaying VC funding till after Aha when the venture’s potential is evident. Corporate executives, on the other hand, tend to shy away from startup risks, although they may be more inclined towards acquisition risk.
· Designing the Unicorn Strategy to Dominate the Emerging Industry. Entrepreneurs develop unique strategies to dominate an emerging industry. These strategies often disrupt existing business models, which established corporations cannot emulate without jeopardizing their current operations. Entrepreneurs have no such constraints. This freedom allows entrepreneurs to craft unicorn strategies that propel them to the forefront of their industry.
The resounding success of billion-dollar entrepreneurs, from the likes of Sam Walton to Jeff Bezos and Eric Yuan, unequivocally demonstrates their superiority over corporate executives – in starting and launching unicorns. Unicorn-Entrepreneurs possess the innate ability to identify and seize opportunities in emerging industries, to deftly navigate startup risks, and to develop strategies that disrupt the status quo. Their achievements underscore the importance of learning from these unicorn entrepreneurs rather than relying solely on business schools, corporate executives, or consultants.
MY TAKE: Aspiring entrepreneurs can greatly enhance their chances of unlocking their full potential and achieving success by studying the strategies and adopting the mindset of Unicorn-Entrepreneurs. Rather than relying solely on the evolutionary strategies employed by corporate executives or the conventional teachings of corporate business classes, learning from the innovative approaches of these visionary individuals can pave the way towards building a unicorn, mini-unicorn, or even a mini-mini-unicorn.
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