Best Place for Entrepreneurship?
The best place for entrepreneurship is definitely in the Boston area. There are hundreds of startups each year, some make it, many do. Entrepreneurship is the culture in this college cluster. This is the best place to learn entrepreneurship, however it is often far from your best entrepreneurial place. The best place to practice entrepreneurship is home. No one better understands what your home wants, needs, and has better than you. Assuming you’re not from Boston, will this city have the same exact tastes as your city or even state? It could. But the only person who knows are those who lived there for 10 years at least. Being Babson students, we cannot wait 10 years to start our venture. We cannot just research. We need action. There is normally only one place any undergraduate has lived for 10 years and that is home. This special place is where individuals develop and understand. What home wants, needs, and has, you should know and sometimes it is a subconscious knowing. However, after enough thinking and searching, the answer will become visible. Then it is a matter of work and polish to form a clear idea. The entrepreneurial process in a vague nutshell is finding the idea, finding the resources, and fixing it. The idea should come, but resources need to be obtained. Where are the resources? The idea came from home and caters to home. Naturally resources also come from home. Only the native would know where to find it and only the companies at home care about your home. If resources can be obtained, it is time for action. Operating a business is an entrepreneurship intensive entity. It takes the skills learned at Babson and the understanding of the economy at home to gain the market and generate value for the community. I have gone through this process and put my idea into action. My home is Hawaii and the strongest industry is tourism. My products are Hawaiian Aloha shirts and I provide this to tourists in their home. Online and shipping globally, my company, SWRV, moves Hawaii to the Hawaii-lovers and at the same time, helps the local economy by purchasing from local manufacturers. The idea seems obvious, big industry at home, Internet boom, of course it is possible to sell Hawaiian products online. Even ideas so obvious as this takes time and effort to find. The resources are easy enough to find, home is a network and everyone knows someone who knows someone. With the idea and resource, it was time to fix the company. Yes, fixing. There is no perfectly born person or company. It is not development because development is slow and there is not perfect and fully developed company. Even companies such as IBM and PWC are not fully developed because they are well fixed, they grow with the market. While operating, my strategy and products are fixed and re-fixed to accommodate the tourists. After hundreds of revisions and upgrades through research on the market and understanding of the tourist groups I grew up with, I was able to fix and keep fixing. Check out our website after the first year of fixes. It started bare and inefficient, but it is fully functional now. The link is at the bottom. SWRV has been fixed hundreds of times over its first year and will be fixed hundreds of thousands of times more as the years go by. Finding mistakes and what to fix is difficult without a strong understanding of the market and of home requires more resources and time, the two most scarce things in the world. The best use of entrepreneurship is to start a company and the best place to do so is at home. Dorothy Gale in the The Wizard of Oz says it best, “There’s no place like home.”
(Picture taken outside of Office space provided by Babson’s Hatchery Program)
P.S. As much as I would enjoy including Hawaii on the Map, the picture would not have come out as nice.