STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT CANTON Entrepreneurship and Technological Innovation
BSAD 345-OW1 (20579)
Due: Midnight on Friday, May 1, 2020
This semester, we have slowly built a mental framework in which entrepreneurship and innovation (which should best be viewed as twin sisters) are most likely to flourish. Dense social networks, Lovelace’s combining faculty, the accelerating pace explained by Moore’s Law, the importance of ripeness, Rogers and his early adopters, Clayton Christensen and his disruptors, Schumpeter’s creative destructionism, the unique personality traits of entrepreneurs, the importance of problem identification (as opposed to solution identification) in the lean startup and – Oh yes – serendipity.
A bit more sophisticated than you thought, huh? And as you have broadened your awareness with the latest research on the topic, you have plodded through Walter Isaacson’s THE INNOVATORS,… real life examples of people doing amazing things and exhibiting all of the aforementioned earmarks!
We began this class by talking about the challenge of seeing the future in such a way that you could arrive there just as the customers were arriving at the same point. In times past, we have been able to do that. But as Eric Ries writes, entrepreneurs are failing because they use the same approaches their grandparents used. “The first problem is the allure of a good plan, a solid strategy, and thorough market research. In earlier eras, these things were indicators of likely success. The overwhelming temptation is to apply them to startups too, but this doesn’t work, because startups operate with too much uncertainty. Startups do not yet know who their customer is or what their product should be. As the world becomes more uncertain, it gets harder and harder to predict the future. The old management methods are not up to the task. Planning and forecasting are only accurate when based on a long, stable operating history and a relatively static environment. Startups have neither….The second problem is that after seeing traditional management fail to solve this problem, some entrepreneurs and investors have thrown up their hands and adopted the ‘Just Do It ‘ school of startups. This school believes that if management is the problem, chaos is the answer. Unfortunately, as I can attest firsthand, this doesn’t work either.”
So, here’s your assignment.
- In your “Culminating Project” file folder, you’ll find an episode from CNBC’s The Profit, in which Marcus Lemonis comes to the rescue of the Coopersburg Handle Company;
- Using what you have been exposed to in class (but particularly Eric Ries’ work), critique Marcus’ approach to Coopersburg’s dilemma in one page;
- Using what you have been exposed to in class (but particularly Clayton Christensen’s work), analyze the various players in the company in one page;
- Speak to the ripeness of Marcus’ solution. (This will require that you do some outside research to get a handle on this particular sector in one page.
Write each segment as if the person to whom you are writing is uninitiated. In other words, spend a paragraph co-orienting the reader to the theory and how you intend to apply it to the subject material (the episode of The Profit).
Please use an 11-point font and single space your pages with 1” margins. Annotate your material using an APA format. Your name is the only information required in the header. A dropbox in the Culminating Project folder is open. Submission deadline is 11:59 pm on Friday, May 1.