Entrepreneurship: Opportunity and Design Thinking
There are many different approaches to what entrepreneurship is and what it is not. In many instances, it highly depends on what one thinks of it to be and not what others do.
Blackburn, 2011, p. xiii states that “Whilst there is no universally accepted definition of entrepreneurship, it is far to say it is multidirectional. It involves analyzing people and their actions together with the ways in which they interact with the environment, be these social, economic or political, and the institutional, policy and legal frameworks that help define legitimate human activities.” This means entrepreneurship is such a broad subject understanding it from a single perspective may not be possible. It requires a lot of different sets of thoughts and human activities.
According to Lichtenstein (2011, p.472), entrepreneurship encompasses many “activities and levels of analysis that no single definition is definitive. Here again, we see entrepreneurship as a field of many related activities. This statement agrees that it is ok to have different interpretations, as long as they related to specific events. The definition of entrepreneurship is a world of confusion and unlikely thoughts. There is no taking what definite write or wrong is. “It is complex, complex, and lacks any notion of linearity”- Neck and Greene (2011, p.55). Neck and Greene further add educators have to lead their students to a path of discovery, and they must learn to reasons and implement different skills that will enable them to succeed in uncertain situations. This, of the essence, means students should be exposed to different approaches of entrepreneurship to challenge them to think big.
Entrepreneurship can be an act of starting a business. It involves creating a product, process, or service to make a profit. We can also call it an idea and activity of starting a business. Entrepreneurship is a creative activity. For one to start a business, they need to perceive everything as a chance and do whatever is necessary to exploit the opportunity. An entrepreneur is, therefore, biased at times in their decision and steps to achieve success.
An entrepreneur is someone who comes up with an idea, creates a way around it, and makes it a success according to their needs. He/she designs a new plan and business process according to market needs.
No matter your definition, it is vital for you to recognize potential business opportunities. This may begin understanding the concept of design thinking in detail. In this article, you will improve your ability to apply inspiration, ideation, and implementation.
There several entrepreneurship theorists and Practitioners who have developed the concept of knowing opportunities. Below are tools you can apply for different purposes, but they are most importantly useful in identifying new business opportunities. But first, what is opportunity recognitions:
It is “ the active process through with individuals conclude that they have identified the potential to create something new that has the potential to generate economic value and that is not currently being exploited or developed and is viewed as desirable in the society in which it occurs.” (Baron, 2004)
Baron suggests that opportunity recognition is a cognitive process. As such, people can educate themselves to be more effective at seeing new opportunities, one by changing their thoughts about opportunities, and two, how they recognize them.
Drucker introduces us to “seven sources for innovative opportunities” (Drucker, 1895) for systematic innovation. The first to the fourth ones involves the business or industry internally. They encompass what is seen in an organization or a sector. The last three deal with whatever affects a company or the industry externally.
- Internal sources
- The unexpected ( including success, failure, and some outside activities)
- The mismatch between reality ( what reality is and what it perceived to be)
- The process needs leading to innovations
- Unexpected industrial or market structure changes
- External focused sources include
- Changes in thoughts, mood, and understanding
- New ideas in science and other fields.
In his New Venture Template, Mitchell (2000) raises a concern about whether the opportunity of studying represents a new combination. He offers a solution to determine this by presenting two groups of entrepreneurial discoveries, scientific discovery, and circumstances. He also talks about the second set of variation for consideration as market imperfections which build profit opportunities. They include excess demand and excess supply. We, therefore, get four categories or discoveries in entrepreneurship: invention I, observation, invention II and coordination.
Other theorists in this section include Schumpeter (1934), Murphy (2011), and Vesper (1996), who all had different approaches to entrepreneurial discoveries but which have links to each other.
Tim Brown, President, and CEO (IDEO, 2015), defines design thinking as a human-centered approach to innovation that comes from the toolkit of the designer to integrate people’s needs, technological possibilities, and what is required to succeed in business. He says that design thinking is a process that comes from the deepest part of the human mind. It reaches into the abilities that every human being possesses but is over-looked for by more important problem-solving approached. To achieve design thinking, one must be intuitive and able to recognize patterns and contract ideas that have emotional functionality and meaning. Besides, one must be able to express themselves through ways beyond words and symbols. Well, we all want to take feeling, intuition, and inspiration out of our business way, but relying on the rational and analytical too much can be a considerable risk.
Design thinking is a fundamental process in entrepreneurship. It can be seen as a system of intermingling spaces, more than a sequence of orderly steps. It involves inspiration, ideation, and implementation. First, we get inspiration about what is happening around us. Then an entrepreneur will generate, develop, and test the ideas in the idealization stage. Finally, he/she will implement the idea to create an impact in people’s lives.
Author: James Hamilton