Thursday, March 05, 2009

Reid Hoffman: 'Everyone's an Entrepreneur'

via TechCrunch, CEO and founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, notes:

I actually think every individual is now an entrepreneur, whether they recognize it or not. . . . Average job length is two to four years. That makes you a small business. . . . You are the entrepreneur of your own small business. How do you get to your next gig? How do you do your career progression? All these things now fall on the individual shoulders. And so, they’re essentially an entrepreneur. . . . They’re entrepreneurs in terms of the business of themselves and how they drive that. So it’s how they get, like, their next job opportunity, how they get a promotion. All of that stuff comes from how they manage the network around them. Which is, by the way, what gave me the idea for LinkedIn.

But I think that one of the key things — the reason why I think risk tolerance is important is because what happens is people delude themselves they’re not taking risks. They say, oh, I’m going to get a job at, you know, Hewlett-Packard or I’m going to get a job — and that’s not risky. Well, look at current economic climates. Everything in life has some risk, and what you have to actually learn to do is how to navigate it. And people who take risk intelligently can usually actually make a lot more progress than people who don’t.

He also recognizes what the stimulus program now being promoted by the US administration is deeply flawed - playing favorites with failing industries and handicapping the entrepreneurs who will reset the US economy and provide the foundation for future growth.

I'm not sure I agree with his views on microfinance in the developed world where we do have a fairly efficient banking system (ie the one that's involved with actual lending) but at least his ideas are better than the ones that have us (Canadians and Americans) giving billions to the dying auto companies who negotiated to fund defined benefit pensions they could not afford.

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