Category Archives: entrepreneur research

10 year olds get it, so why not adults?

The latest Daily Stat from the Harvard Business Review reports that by age 10 children have developed the awareness of the tactics that advertisers use to capture their attention. This was a study, that though in its infancy (ha!) says a lot about advertisers! But what grabs my tickle bone is that by the time these kids are adults, “we” don’t get it!

Here’s the link to the study, and here is the Stat:

AUGUST 31, 2011
Ten-Year-Olds Can See Through Advertisers’ Tactics
By age 10, children are able to discern advertisers’ tactics for getting their attention and making them want to buy, according to research led by Esther Rozendaal of the Amsterdam School of Communications Research in the Netherlands. The study of 209 children also showed that when it comes to the tactic of celebrity endorsements, 10-year-olds are significantly better at grasping advertisers’ intentions than adults. At age 10, children tend to develop an ability to see others’ perspectives and reason abstractly, the researchers say.


What’s wrong with this picture, I mean Patent?

A recent Tech Crunch article, The Terrible Costs of Patents, created some conflict for me. The jest of the article references the high cost of patenting technology products. Companies like Google and Apple, and start-ups alike, spend exorbitant amount of money to use as or to protect from the weapon “against the rising tide of patent litigation”. But when you realize that technology products, or anything you can think of, comes from the ideas of others. (Read Where Good Ideas Come From, by Stephen Johnson, to help you see the picture.)

From the TechCrunch article:

Patents were originally conceived to protect inventors—people and companies who contribute to the advancement of society by creating new products. But in the past decade, something went horribly wrong. Patents have increasingly became nothing more than financial and legal weapons, to be amassed in portfolios by “non-practicing entities” (i.e. patent trolls) and used to extort protection money from economically productive companies.

And of course, patent trolls have a 55.6 percent success rate in cases in the Eastern District of Texas. Is this the way Texas has become an entrepreneurial state?

What do you think?

Be one of the statistics

More data coming across the table on entrepreneurship in Texas and the US.
The Kaufman Foundation gathers extensive data on entrepreneurship and is an excellent source of the happenings in business from the perspective of entrepreneurial activity in the United States.

FACTS of interest:

Texas is not number one, but not far behind in the index of entrepreneurial activity.

In 2010, 565,000 new businesses were started per month by new and repeat entrepreneurs, the same rate as in 2009.  340 out of 100,000 adults started businesses each month in 2010.

Ages 20-34 accounted for 26% of all businesses started in 2010, which by the way is the same as the age group 35-44.

The largest group of entrepreneurs in the education index who started businesses in 2010 were the college educated, followed closely by the high school only group. This indicates that more businesses were started out of necessity.

No surprise on the gender issue: 38% women and a whopping 62% men started businesses in 2010. Why? Another time, but suffice it to say, the gap is closing.

Serendipitity while reading “Where good ideas come from”

The book Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation led me to music I had never heard before, a study on entrepreneurs from Stanford University, and another way of using Facebook. And that was just the beginning.

I’ll start with ideas.  Where do good ideas come from?  According to the author, they don’t materialize in a vacuum. Good ideas, he says, come from the social or informational interactions in diverse and unique settings.  He identifies seven “patterns” in which new ideas are formed and backs them up with examples. I haven’t finished, but the take aways so far are leading me on a new journey:

1. You don’t reach Serendip by plotting a course for it.  You have to set out in good faith for elsewhere and lose your bearings serendipitously. (A quote by J. Barth, a postmodernist writer)

2.Music. The author shares an example of how diversity in thinking led musicians Eno and Bryne to produce My Life in the Bush of Ghosts:

“Rather than featuring conventional pop or rock singing, most of the vocals are sampled from other sources, such as commercial recordings of Arabic singers, radio disc jockeys, and an exorcist. Musicians had previously used similar sampling techniques, but never before been used “to such cataclysmic effect” as on My Life.”

If you don’t buy the whole album on itunes, at least buy America is Waiting.

3. A study in the late 90s investigated the relationship between business innovation and diversity.  The results showed the most creative individuals consistently had broad social networks that extended outside their organization and involved people from diverse fields of expertise.

“Diverse, horizontal social netweorks were three times more innovative than uniform, vertical networks. Groups united by shared values and long-term familiarity, conformity and convention tended to dampen any potential creative sparks.”

4. Which leads me to Facebook, and any social networking site like LinkedIn. Not your friends, but acquaintances. Or people you hardly know because they are in another field or industry than yours.  As other studies have shown, building bridges outside your realm of existence, allows you access to new ideas that you can use in a new context. Looking at those “weak ties” of your social network allows information to travel back and forth throughout a network.  And it is not just the speed in which ideas and information travels across a network, it is the openness the information from one area triggers a connection that leads to a new breakthrough.

Obviously, I suggest your own journey of serendipity while reading this book.

Use your buying power to support small business

A recent document “New Firm Creation” substantiates yet again the importance of small business development in the United States. Small businesses currently represent 98 percent of all businesses in the United States and they generate nearly 64 percent of all net new jobs in this country. We’ve often heard the following facts over the past few years, but the recent data continues to emphasize that:

*Small businesses are generally considered to be the first line of employment and thus the initial training grounds for this nation’s workforce.
*There are twenty-nine million small businesses in the United States
*Small business employers provide approximately 44.5 percent of payroll in the private sector

And the most powerful statistic, however, is that 60 to 80 percent of all new jobs come from small businesses. This number fluctuates when some small businesses grow enough to become classified as large businesses, and when new small businesses are created. From 1999 to 2000, small businesses accounted for 75 percent of all new jobs created. By 2010, small businesses account for three quarters of net new jobs in the United States.

The white paper New Firm Creation is a call for improved policy to even the playing field between small and large business when it comes to economic resources. To me, it is also a reminder to help support small business through the resources I have access to, and equally important to use my personal buying power to support small business growth.

Your start-ups change the whole scene

We all get it that all companies, large and small, create new jobs, and take jobs away. But not all of us are on the same page regarding the importance of start-up companies. A study released today by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation shows that net job growth occurs in the U.S. economy only through start-up firms. The study, The Importance of Start-ups in Job Creation and Job Destruction, states:

on average and for all but seven years between 1977 and 2005, existing firms are net job destroyers, losing 1 million jobs net combined per year. By contrast, in their first year, new firms add an average of 3 million jobs.

The bottom line? We focus on helping in unemployment or layoffs but not in start-ups. But the data from this report suggest that growth would be best boosted by supporting start-up firms.

For more, check it out.

InCube Labs to Create San Antonio Innovation Center

Led by Mayor Julián Castro, the City of San Antonio was joined today by Governor Rick Perry’s Office, County Judge Nelson Wolff, City Manager Sheryl Sculley and InCube Labs Chairman and CEO Mir Imran to announce that InCube Labs plans to establish a branch of its operations in San Antonio. In addition, InCube Labs plans to launch five life science companies in San Antonio over the next five years.

InCube Labs is a Silicon Valley-based life sciences research laboratory focused on developing medical breakthroughs that dramatically improve patient outcomes. The organization is led by Imran who has founded more than 20 companies and holds more than 200 patents.

Imran has created many innovations that have resulted in new standards of care, including the first FDA-approved Automatic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator. Imran and his partners also manage a venture fund, InCube Ventures, which invests in life science companies.

As part of the agreement, the City expects that InCube will create at least 50 jobs within the business incubator with salaries ranging from $50,000 to over $200,000. Based on InCube’s track record, the City expects that over a ten-year period, InCube companies will create approximately 400 jobs and will collectively spend approximately $100 million. InCube also expects to partner with TRTF, UTSA and UTHSCSA to identify and facilitate local technology development opportunities, as well as mentor and foster potential entrepreneurs.