Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

Missing the boat or sinking the boat: a study of new venture decision making

Mullins, John W. and Forlani, David
Journal of Business Venturing Vol. 20 Issue 1, p. 47-69

Taking two conceptualizations of risk, Dickson and Giglierano’s [J. Mark. 50 (1986) 58] nautical analogy of entrepreneurial risk (sinking vs. missing the boat) to represent the likelihood of loss element of new venture risk, and March and Shapira’s [Manage. Sci. 33 (1987) 1404] risk as hazard (boat size) to represent the magnitude of loss element of new venture risk, we investigated how two contextual factors, the suitability of entrepreneurs’ skills and their sources of funds, and two individual differences factors, the entrepreneurs’ risk propensities and their perceptions of risk, influence their new venture decision making. Metaphorically speaking, we found that most entrepreneurs would rather risk missing than sinking the boat, and that they preferred to pilot bigger craft than smaller ones. Perhaps surprisingly, our sample of highly successful entrepreneurs made relatively risk-averse choices, with 83% choosing either of the two ventures for which the chances for loss were lowest. We also found that the source of new venture funding – the entrepreneur’s own money versus that of investors – influenced our subjects’ choices between ventures whose chances for loss or gain differed. A similar effect was found for the entrepreneur’s risk propensity. On the other hand, we found that the risk the entrepreneurs perceived in the choice set also influenced choices, but only where the magnitude of the new venture’s potential gain or loss varied. When viewed in total, our study and results suggest a risk- and reward-based typology of new venture opportunities, one that may provide a conceptual foundation for future explorations of a variety of questions relevant for entrepreneurs and theorists alike.

The Rise and Fall of a Dot-Com: Lessons Learned from LivingCo

Scott, Judy E.
Annals of Cases on Information Technology Vol. 6, p. 1-21

LivingCo was founded with a vision of revolutionizing the U.S. furniture industry by exploiting technological opportunities. It won accolades for its innovative website and generated considerable consumer interest, becoming at one stage one of the most highly trafficked sites on the Internet. Oracle named LivingCo a poster child because it was one of the first e-tailers to successfully deploy their software in both the front and back ends of the business. Furthermore, industry analysts considered many of its strategic plans promising. However, LivingCo ran into problems coping with overspending, high traffic on its website, integrating its technology with its subsidiary, suppliers who were wary of channel conflict and customers, who were, in general, slow to adopt the new way of shopping for furniture

Reclaiming Your Future: Entrepreneurial Thinking in Health Care

Edward J. O’Connor, and C. Marlene Fiol
American College of Physician Executives

This is a book about entrepreneurial thinking and its application to health care settings. It is a book about building an enduring success. It is about entrepreneurial leadership, ways of thinking and approaches used to produce success by entrepreneurs, and application of these ideas to the world of health care, which is desperately in need of new answers to ever-increasing challenges. The purpose of this book is to view health care challenges through the lens of entrepreneurial solutions so that current challenges and opportunities open the door to an ever-stronger and more effective health care delivery system.