Over the last few months I have been participating in a survey of successful entreprenurs and Professor Vivek Wadwa of Harvard Law School has been gathering data for a bunch of research reports on “What Makes Up a Successful Entrepreneur”. It has gotten some great coverage and this slideshow in BusinessWeek: The Anatomy of an Entrepreneur is a great example. It has some awesome charts so if you are a data junkie with a weakness for pretty graphs, you are gonna love this slide show.
Findings That Might Not Be What You Expected
The first part of the research was about background and motivation. This research was released a few months ago and titled, “Anatomy of an Entrepreneur”. Biggest revelation? Not all successful entrepreneurs have to be 25 years old. In most cases they are 40 with a few kinds and have stability and experience on their side. Techcrunch had Dr. Wadwa right a guest post called “TechCrunch: When It Comes To Founding Successful Startups, Old Guys Rule” and here is an awesome finding – “research that my team conducted, based on a survey of 549 entrepreneurs in high-growth industries, showed that the average founder of a high-growth company launched his venture at age 40. We also learned that these founders are likely to be married and have two or more kids. They typically have six to ten years of work experience and real-world ideas. They simply got tired of working for others and wanted to rise above their middle-class heritage.” WOW.
I got an email from Dr. Wadwa that the Kauffman Foundation is releasing Part 2 tomorrow. It is titled “Making of a Successful Entrepreneur” and here is a link to the full report : http://ssrn.com/abstract=1507384 (Click on “Download” at the top of the page).
Research Coming from Dr. Wadwa
In his communications he shared with all of us that he is working on follow-up research with management guru, Jeff Sonnenfeld, who heads the Yale CEO Institute, and renowned labor economist, Richard Freeman of Harvard and London School of Economics. In this, they are comparing this sample with a group of “super-successful” entrepreneurs. His goal is to explore the differences between the entrepreneurs in the sample and a very select group like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.
Is this research on target? Leave a comment.
This research has already gotten substantial media attention and it continues to make an impact. I am curious what you all think of these research type of findings – does it fit? are they off? Leave a comment.Google+