ENTREPRENEURISM: The Mythical, the True and the New by Thomas F. with T.P. Elsaesser Jones

ENTREPRENEURISM: The Mythical, the True and the New

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A generally informative if somewhat self-conscious survey that explores big-picture aspects of proprietorship often overlooked by more conventional nuts-and-bolts guides. Jones, who has been in business for himself (in an unspecified industry) since the mid-1960's, is at pains to emend the stereotypical image of the entrepreneur as a driven daredevil unable to get along with others. Personality and background, he concludes, have about as much to do with success as shoe sizes. Nonetheless, the author did find that the men with whom he talked--Ray Anderson (Compunet), Roy Ash (Litton), Ralph Crump (Frigitronics), Warren Dennis (Casablanca Fans), Leo Imperiali (Tile World), Gordon Moore (Intel), Joseph Solomon (Vidal Sassoon Hair Products), et al.--tended to be persevering doers eager to minimize their risks. None of Jones' sources puts much stock in formal business plans beyond conceding their necessity for financial backing; options are more important than detailed projections that probably will come a cropper. In like vein, flexibility is the common denominator to managing and controlling growth. Jones observes, though, that those who achieved the most ""didn't wait for rain to buy an umbrella."" In his view, the main objective is to formalize a going concern without formaldehyding it. Also covered in discursive fashion are such subjects as staying in touch with people who might contribute at a later stage of an enterprise's development, providing adequate incentives for employees, delegating authority as well as responsibility, deciding whether to stick with an venture as it evolves into a more structured or bureaucratic organization, and maintaining a personal life outside the workplace. Drawing on his own experience, Jones emphasizes the longer-run benefits of ""staying fresh in the midst of a marathon."" In the event, his text affords distinctive rewards--a wide-angle appreciation of the exigencies of entrepreneurship. There will be black-and-white photographs (not seen).

Pub Date: March 1st, 1987
Publisher: Donald Fine