User Entrepreneurs - A Higher Success Rate
There was a very interesting study released by the Kauffman Foundaton titled, "Nearly Half of Innovative U.S. Startups Are Founded by 'User Entrepreneurs.’" The study defines user entrepreneurs as those who have created innovative products or services for their own use, then subsequently founded firms to commercialize them. I think a third of the people I see come through the BIZ fall into this category.
SKMurphy commented further on this research in his blog titled "Bug Reports vs. Business Plans."
- Entrepreneurs bring domain knowledge and often an ability to offer differentiated services based on their own inventions allowing them to bootstrap
- The differences may have as much to do with education and socioeconomic background and the causality may run in the other direction.
- There are certainly many "change agents" who improve the robustness and viability of the firms they work at (but didn't found). Also called intrapreneurs or bricoleurs. These folks may set out on their own to start a new company as well.
Both the study and SKMurphy's blog post are very much worth the read if you are interested in examining success versus failure in the entrepreneurial space.
Square One DSM, an initiative of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, is formerly known as Business Innovation Zone (BIZ).