Tag Archives: affordable loss

The Three Principles that Entrepreneurs Use to Control their Risk

How do entrepreneurs manage risk? A persistent and widely shared belief is that entrepreneurs are risk seekers; that they like taking risk. Ask anyone in the street or in a classroom, and they will tell you, “An entrepreneur is someone who is courageous, who likes to take risks.” But nothing could be further from the truth. Entrepreneurs don’t like risk; no study has ever shown that. What studies show is that while entrepreneurs are willing to take risks, because they recognize that it is necessary, they try to control them. To do that, they use three principles that are at the core of the entrepreneurial theory called effectuation, proposed twenty years ago by Darden professor Saras Sarasvathy.

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Effectuation: How Entrepreneurs (Really) create new products, new organizations and new markets.

How do you create a company? Very simple! Start with a vision based on a great idea. Write a business plan, raise money from an investor, create the company, assemble a great team and implement the plan, to conquer the world. Successful entrepreneurs are creative and visionary, ambitious, persevering, dynamic, courageous, real leaders, charismatic, but also caring and open to others, and many other things. In short, superheroes. It’s simple… but it’s not true! Or at least it rarely happens that way. Time to dispel a few myths.

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