Steve Blank: Entrepreneurship is an Art not a Job

Scott Francis
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I just read one of Steve Blank’s posts and I just wanted to share my impressions here. Because the internal debate Steve seems to be sharing with us on his blog is not unlike the debate that goes on in BPM circles all the time.  Here’s my comment in its entirety:
Steve, on the one hand, this post is depressing. You seem to be saying that entrepreneurs are born rather than made. That in some sense, this endeavor to teach more people about entrepreneurship is hopeless. On the other hand, you pointed out not everyone can use these tools equally well. Well good! If they could, what point in striving against all the other people starting businesses if we’re all automatons executing the master plan. The point is that you can, with the right tools, raise the game of everyone who uses them. With the right education and experience, you can elevate their internal game and process. You can give everyone a tennis racquet, and they won’t all be equally good, even with the same equipment. But you can teach EVERYONE to be better at tennis. I can’t believe you wouldn’t think the same is true for entrepreneurship, management, running a business. I’m also disheartened to see people referring to science as if it isn’t creative. It is. If it wasn’t, we’d just let the computers do the science and R&D wouldn’t we? The scientific method and the “Pivot” don’t sound terribly different to me. The Word processor doesn’t make someone an artist- but it has made people who write more productive – allowing, no doubt, more people to get into writing as a side-career rather than starving while they pursue their craft. Regarding that practice: recall that it has to be practice with a purpose (the learning that goes with the practice, the purposeful working on weaknesses and leveraging strengths). Giving entrepreneurs a better framework and tools gives them a better shot at practice with purpose. And having said all of that, I find it encouraging that human variance will still mean that some will succeed beyond others. Because individualism still matters too. That sounds like capitalism to me. Given how many successful businesses there are in the world, perhaps we think this entrepreneur thing is a little bit more rare than it really is.
I think we too easily discount the creativity that everyone doing work exhibits.  We also too easily give up on the idea that other people can improve.  Almost everyone I’ve ever talked to thinks they can improve themselves.  I feel sorry for the folks I talk to who *don’t* seem to have that belief. What Steve Blank is teaching in his classes and through his blog is an improvement over trial-and-error. But, the best entrepreneurs will take great advantage from his concepts and teaching, and the worst entrepreneurs simply won’t.  It will be that way with any improvement tools or teachings. Is it any different in BPM?