The two faces of necessity-based entrepreneurship

When companies like Uber move into an area, some people there are less likely to start businesses of their own. The falloff may reflect a decline in “necessity-based entrepreneurship” by unemployed or underemployed people. If they have no job opportunities, “they’re more likely to act on what’s potentially a lower-quality startup idea” that doesn’t get much support on Kickstarter.

About half of Uber drivers have college degrees. What is the lost entrepreneurial cost?

More and more doctors are getting interested in entrepreneurship i.e. the pursuit of opportunity under conditions of uncertainty with the goal of creating user defined value through the deployment of innovation. Some are doing it because they think they have to given threats to their incomes, change fatigue and fear. While those factors can be strong entrepreneurial motivators, there are also pitfalls:

  1. Getting involved without a clear understanding of the entrepreneurial knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies required to add value.
  2. Making decisions based on reflexive emotions instead of reflective decision making
  3. Taking short cuts
  4. Undervaluing your worth to get a side gig
  5. Participating in ventures that have a low chance of success
  6. Quitting your day job before you should
  7. Putting too many eggs in one basket
  8. Over promising and under delivering
  9. Making bad investment decisions
  10. Making burnout worse by losing even more control

Like Janus, necessity-based entrepreneurship has two faces. While it is said that necessity is the mother of invention, it leaves many ideas, inventions and discoveries as orphans as well.

Which face you show should be something that is by design, not by necessity. So here’s to financial stress and deadline pressure, even if few of us can be Marx or Dickens. To paraphrase Tiny Tim, God bless ‘em, every one.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs