Entrepreneurship

175 Results

 

Users Love Ello, But What’s the Business Model?

Social network upstart Ello is generating terrific buzz among users, but can its ad-free approach compete against Facebook? Professors John Deighton and Sunil Gupta provide insights into what drives social media success. Open for comment; 2 Comment posted.

Online Banks Fill Funding Needs for Small Business

In the final column on small business lending, Karen Mills is optimistic that the rise of alternative online banks can fund entrepreneurial business growth. Open for comment; 1 Comment posted.

Food Stamp Entrepreneurs: How Public Assistance Enables Business Bootstrapping

Gareth Olds finds a definitive link between an increase in access to government assistance programs and an increase in new company formation. Closed for comment; 7 Comments posted.

Government Can Do More to Unfreeze Small Business Credit

In part three of her series on the state of small-business lending, Karen Mills discusses how public-private partnerships and government guarantee programs have the potential to enhance economic growth. Open for comment; 0 Comments posted.

Family Businesses Need Entrepreneurs for Long-Run Success

Families that want to stay in business for generations don't have a choice but to encourage entrepreneurship in and out of their family company, say Michael Roberts and John Davis. Here's how. Open for comment; 2 Comments posted.

Why Small-Business Lending Is Not Recovering

Lending to small businesses has not returned to levels seen before the financial crisis. Karen Mills, former head of the US Small Business Administration, explains the reasons and why the situation is not likely to improve anytime soon. Open for comment; 6 Comments posted.

Is a Gap in Small-Business Credit Holding Back the American Economy?

Karen Mills, former head of the US Small Business Administration, analyzes the current state of availability of bank capital for small business. Open for comment; 8 Comments posted.

FIELD Trip: Conquering the Gap Between Knowing and Doing

Forget what you remember about school field trips. Harvard Business School is in its fourth year of a bold innovation that ships all first-year students on global excursions. FIELD leaders Alan MacCormack and Tony Mayo describe lessons learned so far. Open for comment; 6 Comments posted.

In Venture Capital, Birds of a Feather Lose Money Together

The more affinity there is between two VCs investing in a firm, the less likely the firm will succeed, according to research by Paul Gompers, Yuhai Xuan and Vladimir Mukharlyamov. Open for comment; 8 Comments posted.

In the Future of Sports Investing, Media Is the Best Bet

Sports investing is no longer just about buying teams and selling beer. Bob Higgins discusses why media, digital devices, and invention of fan-friendly sports are driving next-generation investors. Open for comment; 2 Comments posted.

Managing the Family Business: Survival’s Secret Sauce

The secret sauce for surviving from generation to generation, says family-business expert John Davis, has three main ingredients: growth, talent and unity. Open for comment; 1 Comment posted.

The Alibaba Effect

Alibaba's $200 billion mega-IPO is history-making in a number of ways. Bill Kirby and Warren McFarlan discuss what the deal says about Chinese entrepreneurship and American markets. Open for comment; 6 Comments posted.

A Playbook for Small-Business Job Creation

Karen Mills left her post as SBA Administrator for a joint fellowship at Harvard to tackle a question she's faced her whole career: How can the United States drive innovation and turn it into jobs? Open for comment; 1 Comment posted.

Entrepreneurship and Multinationals Drive Globalization

Why is the firm overlooked as a contributor when we identify the drivers of globalization? Geoffrey Jones discusses his new book, Entrepreneurship and Multinationals: Global Business and the Making of the Modern World. Open for comment; 1 Comment posted.

Managing the Family Business: Leadership Roles

Poorly designed leadership roles set up a family business for failure. John A. Davis offers a system that produces the decisiveness and unity needed for long-term performance. Open for comment; 9 Comments posted.

Managing the Family Business: It Takes a Village

Is it better to lead a family business with one ultimate leader or a team? John A. Davis, an expert on family business management, kicks off a series of articles with a look at governance models. Open for comment; 3 Comments posted.

The Case for Combating Climate Change with Nuclear Power and Fracking

Joseph B. Lassiter explains why he believes that nuclear power and shale gas are on the right side of the fight against climate change, and why markets have a better shot at winning the fight than governments do. Closed for comment; 18 Comments posted.

U.S. High-Skilled Immigration, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship: Empirical Approaches and Evidence

In the 2008 Current Population Survey, immigrants represented 16 percent of the United States workforce with a bachelor's education. Moreover, immigrants accounted for 29 percent of the growth in this workforce during the 1995-2008 period. Exceeding these strong overall contributions, the role of immigrants within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields is even more pronounced. Even so, the importance of the global migration of STEM talent has been under-studied. In this paper, which focuses exclusively on the United States' experience, the author reviews academic work regarding the effects of global migration on innovation and entrepreneurship. Findings show that while some aspects of the phenomenon are well understood, such as the quantity and quality of immigrants, scholars still have very little insight on others, such as return migration. Overall, immigration has clearly been essential for the United States' leadership in innovation and entrepreneurship. There is also evidence of positive impacts of high-skilled diasporas for home countries, although the ledger that can be measured in the United States remains incomplete. Read More

How the Zebra Got Its Stripes: Imprinting of Individuals and Hybrid Social Ventures

Creating hybrid organizations that combine existing organizational forms is a complex process. Given the legitimacy challenges facing hybrid organizations, why are they created in the first place? The authors focus on the role of "environmental imprinting" on individuals: this means the persistent effects that individuals' environments during sensitive periods have on their subsequent behaviors. After constructing and analyzing a novel dataset of over 700 founders of social ventures, all guided by a social welfare logic, the authors suggest that individual imprinting helps to explain why an entrepreneur founding a social venture might create a hybrid by incorporating a secondary, commercial logic. Overall, the paper contributes to the understanding of hybrid organizations by providing the first large-scale, empirical examination of the antecedents of the widely-discussed type of hybrids that combine social welfare and commercial logics. Read More

Built for Global Competition from the Start

Building a startup as a global business requires managers with skills and strategy much different from their predecessors of even a generation ago, says William R. Kerr. Closed for comment; 2 Comments posted.

‘Hybrid’ Organizations a Difficult Bet for Entrepreneurs

Hybrid organizations combine the social logic of a nonprofit with the commercial logic of a for-profit business, but are very difficult to finance. So why would anyone want to form one? Julie Battilana and Matthew Lee investigate. Closed for comment; 14 Comments posted.

Lean Strategy Not Just for Start-Ups

Established companies often experience innovation stagnation. The fix, says Intuit founder Scott Cook, is for these companies to adopt a lean start-up model. Open for comment; 7 Comments posted.

Breaking Through a Growth Stall

Many companies get stuck on a plateau, unable to grow and burning through cash at a frightening rate. Frank V. Cespedes discusses how focusing on the right customers can generate growth again. Closed for comment; 3 Comments posted.

Culture Changers: Managing High-Impact Entrepreneurs

In her new Harvard Business School course, Creative High-Impact Ventures: Entrepreneurs Who Changed the World, professor Mukti Khaire looks at ways managers can team with creative talent in six "culture industries": publishing, fashion, art-design, film, music, and food. Closed for comment; 13 Comments posted.

What Wall Street Doesn’t Understand About International Trade

Firms that correlate their international trading activity with the local ethnic community significantly outperform those that don't, according to new research by Lauren H. Cohen, Christopher J. Malloy, and Umit G. Gurun. Closed for comment; 4 Comments posted.

Want People to Save More? Send a Text

What's the most effective way to encourage people to save their money? The answer lies in a combination of peer pressure and text messages, according to new research by Assistant Professor Dina D. Pomeranz. Open for comment; 6 Comments posted.

Taking Advantage of Life’s (Few and Far Between) Inflection Points

A new book about the wit and wisdom of Harvard Business School Professor Howard Stevenson, written by longtime friend Eric C. Sinoway, examines life's "inflection points" and how to use them to best advantage. Open for comment; 16 Comments posted.

Entrepreneurship in the Natural Food and Beauty Categories Before 2000: Global Visions and Local Expressions

How do entrepreneurs create a market? Geoffrey Jones takes a historical approach and focuses on influential figures who created new categories of natural and organic food, agriculture, and beauty products over the course of the twentieth century. At first these pioneering entrepreneurs, often motivated by ideological or religious convictions, faced little consumer demand for "green" products and little consumer knowledge of what they entailed. The creation of new categories thus involved a lengthy process with three overlapping waves of entrepreneurship. First, the diffusion of ideas through publishing, and promotion of research and education, engaged many entrepreneurs. They were, in effect, making the ideological case for natural products, and providing the basis for them to be made available. Second, entrepreneurs engaged in the creation of industry associations which could advocate, as well as give the nascent industry credibility and create standards. Finally, entrepreneurial ventures established retail stores, supply and distribution networks, and created brands. Read More

How to Sink a Startup

Noam Wasserman, author of the recently released book "The Founder's Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup," discusses ill-advised entrepreneurial behavior. From the HBS Alumni Bulletin. Open for comment; 4 Comments posted.

HBS Cases: A Startup Takes On the Credit Ratings Giants

Moody's, Fitch, and Standard & Poor's dominated the credit ratings industry for decades. Could the recession weaken their hold? Professor Bo Becker discusses his case on super startup Kroll. Open for comment; 4 Comments posted.

Creating a Venture Ecosystem in Brazil: FINEP’s INOVAR Project

Since the mid-1990s, several groups in Brazil have been working on developing an indigenous venture capital ecosystem, largely to stimulate the establishment of innovative companies and help them gain access to capital. In 2000, the Brazilian government's Agency for Innovation (Financiadora de Estudos e Projectos, or FINEP), with support from the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), unveiled INOVAR, a program to address these needs. In the 12 years since INOVAR's debut, the program has had two iterations and has been recognized as a role model for government efforts to stimulate a VC ecosystem. In this paper, Ann Leamon and Josh Lerner present a brief background on private equity in both Latin America and Brazil, then explore the genesis of INOVAR (Innovation), the details of the program, and its results. They conclude with challenges to be addressed. Read More

When Founders Recruit Friends and Family as Investors

In his new book, The Founder's Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup, HBS Associate Professor Noam Wasserman tells readers how to anticipate, avoid, and, if necessary, recover from the landmines that can destroy a nascent company before it has the chance to thrive. In this excerpt, he discusses the pros and cons of recruiting friends and family members as investors. Open for comment; 6 Comments posted.

Clear and Present Danger: Planning and New Venture Survival Amid Political and Civil Violence

Strategy theory often takes for granted the role of state institutions in providing stable, predictable environments in which new firms are founded. Yet, many states around the world (such as Iraq, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and the Democratic Republic of Congo) lack political institutions of sufficient strength to ensure personal safety and public order, thereby creating environments where civil and political violence can ferment. This paper explores the impact of such violence on new venture processes. Results show that comprehensive planning was negatively correlated with venture survival in such environments. While there are implications for strategy theory, the study is also relevant to entrepreneurs and organizations promoting new venture planning in less-developed countries, particularly those experiencing political and civil turmoil. Currently, prospective entrepreneurs are taught the importance of business planning by both universities and non-governmental organizations that offer entrepreneurial training. But this study suggests that such training will have mixed effects on new venture survival, depending on the extent to which these entrepreneurs pursue ventures in violent and uncertain environments. In such contexts where governments fail to maintain public safety and order, these training programs may actually increase the likelihood of new venture failure. Read More

Is Support for Small Business Misplaced?

Summing Up Is small business overhyped as a panacea for our economic troubles? Jim Heskett's readers don't think so. Closed for comment; 35 Comments posted.

HBS Cases: Clocky, the Runaway Alarm Clock

There had not been an innovative breakthrough in alarm clock design since the snooze button until entrepreneur Gauri Nanda created Clocky. Her runaway hit has been the inspiration for several cases written by Professor Elie Ofek. Closed for comment; 8 Comments posted.

Local Industrial Structures and Female Entrepreneurship in India

Despite its recent economic advances, India's gender balance for entrepreneurship remains among the lowest in the world. Improving this balance is an important step for India's achievement of greater economic growth and gender equality. This paper uses detailed micro-data on the unorganized manufacturing and services sectors of India in 2000-2005 to identify and quantify the importance of existing female business networks for promoting subsequent entrepreneurship among women at the district-industry-year level. Read More

Caste and Entrepreneurship in India

Has India's political revolution been accompanied by corresponding changes in the economic sphere? This paper argues that for the most vulnerable, whether in villages or cities, the social structure has not changed. While Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and traditionally "middle-level" castes have made significant progress at the level of political representation in independent India, their progress in entrepreneurship has been uneven. By looking at the ownership of enterprises across the country, this paper sheds light on two larger narratives about India's emerging political economy: first, that the rich have benefitted more than the poor, the towns and cities more than the villages, and the upper castes more than the lower castes has acquired salience in several quarters. And second, that "Dalit entrepreneurship," a category conspicuous by its absence in India's business history, has become a significant trend. Findings by Lakshmi Iyer, Tarun Khanna, and Ashutosh Varshney show that while the "middle-level" castes have made progress in entrepreneurship, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are considerably under-represented in the entrepreneurial sphere. That is, for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, political gains have not manifested themselves in greater entrepreneurial prowess. Read More

Spatial Determinants of Entrepreneurship in India

In South Asia, which regional traits encourage local entrepreneurship? While multiple studies have considered this question in advanced economies, especially for the manufacturing sector, there has been very little empirical evidence for developing countries like India. While India has historically had low entrepreneurship rates, this weakness is improving and will be an important stepping stone to further development. In this paper, the authors explore the spatial determinants of local entrepreneurship in India for both manufacturing and services. At the district level, their strongest evidence points to the roles that local education levels and physical infrastructure quality play in promoting entry. They also find evidence that strict labor regulations discourage formal sector entry, and better household banking environments encourage entry in the unorganized sector. The paper then evaluates how incumbent industrial structures of cities shape the type of entrants that emerge in local areas. Startups are more frequent for a city in industries that share common labor needs or have customer-supplier relationships with the city's incumbent businesses. This is among the first studies to quantify the spatial determinants of entrepreneurship in India. Moreover, it moves beyond manufacturing to consider services, which are very important for India's economic growth. Read More

Investment Cycles and Startup Innovation

In this paper, HBS professors Nanda and Rhodes-Kropf examine how the environment in which a new venture was first funded relates to its ultimate outcome, by specifically looking at what happened to venture capital-backed startups funded between 1980 and 2004. Results show that firms that were funded in "hot" markets were more likely to fail but created more value and had more highly cited patents when they succeeded. These results suggest that that flood of capital in hot markets lowers the cost of experimentation for early stage investors, and therefore allows them to fund more novel projects in periods of heated financial activity. Read More

The Untold Story of ‘Green’ Entrepreneurs

The history of entrepreneurs in green industries is largely unwritten, a fact that Harvard Business School business historian Geoffrey Jones is trying to remedy. In a new paper, Jones explores the edge-of-society pioneers who created the wind turbine industry. Open for comment; 16 Comments posted.

Cheese Moving: Effecting Change Rather Than Accepting It

In his new business fable, I Moved Your Cheese, Professor Deepak Malhotra challenges the idea that change is simply something we must anticipate, tolerate, and accept. Instead, the book teaches readers that success often lies in first questioning changes in the workplace and, if necessary, in effecting new changes ourselves. Q&A plus book excerpt. Closed for comment; 12 Comments posted.

Business Plan Contest: 15 Years of Building Better Entrepreneurs

Since 1997, Hundreds of student-entrepreneurs have tested their ideas at Harvard Business School's annual Business Plan Contest. Here is what they have learned about success, failure, and themselves. From the HBS Alumni Bulletin. Open for comment; 2 Comments posted.

Perfecting the Project Pitch

Entrepreneurs may be great innovators, but not necessarily great presenters. Associate Professor Thomas Steenburgh teaches them the fine art of product pitching. Open for comment; 8 Comments posted.

With a Little Help from My (Random) Friends: Success and Failure in Post-Business School Entrepreneurship

While starting a new company usually requires an independent spirit and self-sufficient nature, the decision to jump into entrepreneurship is often influenced by the acts of others. In this paper, Josh Lerner and Ulrike Malmendier explore how the entrepreneurial tendencies of peers affect not only one's decision to start a company, but whether that company will succeed. The researchers use data from a decade of first-year class sections at Harvard Business School. Read More

The First Deal: The Division of Founder Equity in New Ventures

When starting a company, entrepreneurs must decide how to divide shares among the founders. The simplest way is to split the shares equally, which is what one third of startups decide to do. But that may not be the fairest or most effective way—especially in cases where some founders are doing more for the company than others. In this paper, Thomas F. Hellman (University of British Columbia) and Noam Wasserman (Harvard Business School) examine when and whether teams are likely to divide shares equally among all the founders, and explore whether such an equity split is good for the company. Read More

Teaching a ‘Lean Startup’ Strategy

Most startups fail because they waste too much time and money building the wrong product before realizing too late what the right product should have been, says HBS entrepreneurial management professor Thomas R. Eisenmann. In his new MBA course, Launching Technology Ventures, Eisenmann introduces students to the idea of the lean startup—a methodology that has proven successful for many young high-tech companies. Closed for comment; 56 Comments posted.

From SpinPop to SpinBrush: Entrepreneurial Lessons from John Osher

At a panel discussion on entrepreneurship, professor William A. Sahlman and several successful start-up veterans discussed the case of John Osher, father of Dr. John's Products, Ltd., and the wildly popular battery-powered toothbrush, the SpinBrush. Read More

Why Companies Fail--and How Their Founders Can Bounce Back

Leading a doomed company can often help a career by providing experience, insight, and contacts that lead to new opportunities, says professor Shikhar Ghosh. Closed for comment; 35 Comments posted.

Creating the Founders’ Dilemmas Course

In HBS professor Noam Wasserman's second-year MBA course, Founders' Dilemmas, students study quandaries that virtually all entrepreneurs face when trying to realize the dream of launching a startup—from deciding when to start the company to learning how to make a graceful exit. Guest speakers discussing their experiences include All-Star pitcher-turned-entrepreneur Curt Schilling and Tom & Tom, the Nantucket Nectars guys. Closed for comment; 12 Comments posted.

Is Groupon Good for Retailers?

For retailers offering deals through the wildly popular online start-up Groupon, does the one-day publicity compensate for the deep hit to profit margins? A new working paper, "To Groupon or Not to Groupon," sets out to help small businesses decide. Harvard Business School professor Benjamin G. Edelman discusses the paper's findings. Closed for comment; 59 Comments posted.

Financing Risk and Bubbles of Innovation

While start-up firms are key to any technological revolution, they also run a high risk of failure. To that end, investors often provide limited capital in several careful stages, gaining confidence in a firm before doling out another round of funding. However, these investors still face the possibility that other investors won't provide follow-on funding, even when the firm's prospects remain sound. That's a big risk for individual investors who can't afford to fund a new firm all by themselves, and whose investment will flounder if others don't invest, too. Research by HBS professors Ramana Nanda and Matthew Rhodes-Kropf explores why future investors may not fund the project at its next stage even if the fundamentals of the project have not changed. Read More

Venture Capital’s Disconnect with Clean Tech

Clean-tech start-ups depend on patience and public policy to thrive—the Internet models for VC funding don't apply. That's why Harvard Business School professor Joseph Lassiter is making an unusual recommendation to his entrepreneurship students: Spend a few years serving time in a government job. Closed for comment; 18 Comments posted.

From Bench to Board: Gender Differences in University Scientists’ Participation in Commercial Science

Does gender affect whether a university scientist will be invited to work with for-profit companies? Indeed it does. A new paper finds that male professors receive more opportunities than their female counterparts to join scientific advisory boards and start new companies. Research, focusing on the biotechnology field, was conducted by Haas School of Business professor Waverly W. Ding, MIT Sloan professor Fiona Murray, and HBS professor Toby E. Stuart. Read More

Modern Indian Art: The Birth of a Market

Before 1995, there was little market for twentieth-century Indian fine art. That's when artists, auction houses, critics, and others defined a new product category—modern Indian fine art—resulting in worldwide demand and soaring prices. Professor Mukti Khaire explains the dynamics behind new market categories. Read More

Strategy and Execution for Emerging Markets

How can multinationals, entrepreneurs, and investors identify and respond to new challenges and opportunities around the world? In this Q&A, HBS professors and strategy experts Tarun Khanna and Krishna G. Palepu offer a practical framework for succeeding in emerging markets. Plus: Book excerpt with action items. Read More

The Consequences of Entrepreneurial Finance: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis

What difference do angel investors make for the success and growth of new ventures? William R. Kerr and Josh Lerner of HBS and Antoinette Schoar of MIT provide fresh evidence to address this crucial question in entrepreneurial finance, quantifying the positive impact that angel investors make to the companies they fund. Angel investors as research subjects have received much less attention than venture capitalists, even though some estimates suggest that these investors are as significant a force for high-potential start-up investments as venture capitalists, and are even more significant as investors elsewhere. This study demonstrates the importance of angel investments to the success and survival of entrepreneurial firms. It also offers an empirical foothold for analyzing many other important questions in entrepreneurial finance. Read More

When Open Architecture Beats Closed: The Entrepreneurial Use of Architectural Knowledge

Entrepreneurial firms rich in knowledge but poor in other resources can use superior architectural knowledge of a technical system to gain strategic advantage over larger and better endowed rivals. This paper presents a model and provides examples showing that architectural knowledge can be applied strategically to change a firm's scope and boundaries, make innovations more or less autonomous, and change the span of problems it must solve. Read More

Labor Regulations and European Private Equity

Recent theoretical models predict that countries with stricter labor policies will specialize in less innovative activities due to the higher worker turnover frequently associated with rapidly changing sectors. HBS visiting scholar Ant Bozkaya and HBS professor William R. Kerr examine how differences in labor regulations across European countries influence the development of private equity markets, comprised of venture capital and buy-out investors. In so doing, the researchers provide the first empirical evidence for this theoretical prediction at the industry level in the entrepreneurial finance literature. They also make a methodological contribution by demonstrating how jointly modeling the different policies for providing worker insurance delivers more consistent results than their individual relationships would indicate by themselves. Read More

Is a Stringent Climate Change Agreement a Pot of Gold?

Reading this month's comments, HBS professor Jim Heskett wonders if we even need a climate change agreement as a catalyst to foster innovation and the VC investment required to support it. (Online forum has closed; next forum opens February 4.) Closed for comment; 19 Comments posted.

Government’s Positive Role in Kick-Starting Entrepreneurship

The U.S. government has spent billions of dollars bailing out troubled companies. Is it time for Uncle Sam to invest in new entrepreneurial firms as well? Professor Josh Lerner makes the case for limited government involvement in his book Boulevard of Broken Dreams: Why Public Efforts to Boost Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Have Failed—and What to Do about It. Read More

The Times Captures History of American Business

"We are not the first to face what seem like overwhelming challenges," says HBS professor and business historian Nancy F. Koehn. A new volume edited and narrated by Koehn, The Story of American Business: From the Pages of The New York Times, presents more than a hundred timely articles from the 1850s to today. Q&A and book excerpt. Read More

Clusters of Entrepreneurship

Economic growth is highly correlated with an abundance of small, entrepreneurial firms. This relationship is even stronger looking across industries within cities, and has been taken as evidence for competition spurring technological progress, product cycles where growth is faster at earlier stages, and the importance of entrepreneurship for area success. Any of these interpretations is possible, however, and the only thing that we can be sure of is that entrepreneurial clusters exist in some areas but not in others. This paper first documents systematically some basic facts about average establishment size and new employment growth through entrepreneurship, then analyzes entry and industrial structures at the region and the city levels using the Longitudinal Business Database. Read More

Financing Constraints and Entrepreneurship

Financing constraints are one of the biggest concerns impacting potential entrepreneurs around the world. Given the important role that entrepreneurship is believed to play in the process of economic growth, alleviating financing constraints for would-be entrepreneurs is also an important goal for policymakers worldwide. In this paper HBS professors William R. Kerr and Ramana Nanda review two major streams of research examining the relevance of financing constraints for entrepreneurship. They then introduce a framework that provides a unified perspective on these research streams, thereby highlighting some important areas for future research and policy analysis in entrepreneurial finance. Read More

Banking Deregulations, Financing Constraints and Firm Entry Size

How do financing constraints on new start-ups affect the initial size of these new firms? Since bank debt comprises the majority of U.S. firm borrowings, new ventures are especially sensitive to local bank conditions due to their limited options for external finance. Liberalization in the banking sector can thus have important effects on entrepreneurship in product markets. As HBS professors William Kerr and Ramana Nanda explain, the 1970s through the mid-1990s was a period of significant liberalization in the ability of banks to establish branches and to expand across state borders, either through new branches or through acquisitions. Using a database of annual employment data for every U.S. establishment from 1976 onward, Kerr and Nanda examine how U.S. branch banking deregulations impacted the entry size of new start-ups in the non-financial sector. This paper is closely related to their prior work examining how the deregulations impacted the rates of startup entry and exit in the non-financial sector. Read More

Buy Local? The Geography of Successful and Unsuccessful Venture Capital Expansion

From Silicon Valley to Herzliya, Israel, venture capital firms are concentrated in very few locations. More than half of the 1,000 venture capital offices listed in Pratt's Guide to Private Equity and Venture Capital Sources are located in just three metropolitan areas: San Francisco, Boston, and New York. More than 49 percent of the U.S.-based companies financed by venture capital firms are located in these three cities. This paper examines the location decisions of venture capital firms and the impact that venture capital firm geography has on investments and outcomes. Findings are informative both to researchers in economic geography and to policymakers who seek to attract venture capital. Read More

Don’t Just Survive—Thrive: Leading Innovation in Good Times and Bad

The financial crisis provides a sobering reminder of what happens when innovation fails to drive productive economic growth. For over a decade, money from around the world poured into the United States seeking innovation. Despite these massive investments, when adjusted for inflation, U.S. GDP grew slowly with much of the growth coming from government, professional, and business services, including real estate and outsourcing. What's more, inflation adjusted wages stalled for many, even as consumer spending increased. This paper argues that innovation is not a side business to a real business: rather, innovation is the foundation of a successful business. Read More

The Unseen Link Between Savings and National Growth

Professor Diego Comin and fellow researchers find a little observed link between private savings and country growth. The work may offer a simple interpretation for the East Asia "miracle" and for failures in Latin America. Q&A. Read More

Do Innovation and Entrepreneurship Have to Be Incompatible with Organization Size?

Like a good case study, this month's question divided respondents nearly down the middle, says professor Jim Heskett. Can managers lead both a large, established organization and encourage intrapreneurial effort inside it? Readers weighed in. (Online forum now closed. Next forum begins June 5.) Closed for comment; 81 Comments posted.

Building Businesses in Turbulent Times

An economic crisis is a charter for business leaders to rewrite and rethink how they do business, says Harvard Business School professor Lynda M. Applegate. The key: Don't think retrenchment; think growth. Read More

Creative Entrepreneurship in a Downturn

Entrepreneurs, take heart. True, the global economic malaise removes opportunities and precious resources—but also adds them in new and interesting ways, argues HBS senior lecturer Bhaskar Chakravorti. In this Q&A he identifies reasons for optimism, and shows how entrepreneurs can think differently about bad news. Read More

When Does Domestic Saving Matter for Economic Growth?

The researchers begin with a simply stated question: Can a country grow faster by saving more? Long-run growth theories imply that a country can grow faster by investing more in human or physical capital or in R&D, but that a country with access to international capital markets cannot grow faster by saving more. Domestic saving is therefore not considered an important ingredient in the growth process because investment can be financed by foreign saving. From the point of view of standard growth theory, the positive cross-country correlation between saving and growth that many commentators have noted appears puzzling. HBS professor Diego Comin and colleagues develop a theory of local saving and growth in an open economy with domestic and foreign investors. Read More

Uncompromising Leadership in Tough Times

As companies batten down the hatches, we need leaders who do not compromise on standards and values that are essential in flush times. Fortunately, such leaders do exist. Their insights can help other organizations weather the current crisis, says HBS professor Michael Beer. Q&A. Read More

The Success of Persistent Entrepreneurs

Want to be a successful entrepreneur? Your best bet might be to partner with entrepreneurs who have a track record of success, suggests new research by Paul A. Gompers, Josh Lerner, David S. Scharfstein, and Anna Kovner. Read More

Local Industrial Conditions and Entrepreneurship: How Much of the Spatial Distribution Can We Explain?

Some places, like Silicon Valley, seem almost magically entrepreneurial with a new start-up on every street corner. Other areas, like declining cities of the Rust Belt, appear equally starved of whatever local attributes make entrepreneurship more likely. Many academics, policymakers, and business leaders stress the importance of local conditions for explaining spatial differences in entrepreneurship and economic development. This paper uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau to characterize these entry relationships more precisely within the manufacturing sector. Read More

Performance Persistence in Entrepreneurship

All else equal, a venture-capital-backed entrepreneur who starts a company that goes public has a 30 percent chance of succeeding in his or her next venture. First-time entrepreneurs, on the other hand, have only an 18 percent chance of succeeding, and entrepreneurs who previously failed have a 20 percent chance of succeeding. But why do these contrasts exist? Such performance persistence, as in the first example, is usually taken as evidence of skill. However, in the context of entrepreneurship, the belief that successful entrepreneurs are more skilled than unsuccessful ones can induce real performance persistence. In this way, success breeds success even if successful entrepreneurs were just lucky. Success breeds even more success if entrepreneurs have some skill. Read More

Applicant and Examiner Citations in U.S. Patents: An Overview and Analysis

The ready availability of patent citation data has been a tremendous boon to applied research on knowledge and innovation. The role of examiners in the generation of patent citations has been thought to potentially complicate these analyses, but has been difficult to study. Taking advantage of a change in the way patent citation data has been reported starting in 2001, this paper summarizes basic facts on examiner citations, and provides a descriptive analysis of factors associated with citations in a patent. Read More

Technology, Identity, and Inertia through the Lens of ‘The Digital Photography Company’

Why do established firms find some technological change so challenging? While existing research has identified numerous sources of inertia in established firms exploring new technological domains, identity is a critical piece of the puzzle. As the core essence of an organization, identity directs and constrains action. The routines, procedures, capabilities, knowledge base, and beliefs of an organization all reflect its identity. So when a technology is identity-challenging to an organization—when pursuing it would violate the core beliefs of both insiders and outsides about what the firm represents—organizations face significant obstacles to adopting it. This study by Tripsas highlights the importance of recognizing and evaluating the tradeoffs associated with technological opportunity and organizational identity. Read More

Opening Platforms: How, When and Why?

It is crucial for firms that create and maintain platforms to select optimal levels of openness. Decisions to open a platform entail tradeoffs between adoption and appropriability, and opening a platform can spur adoption by harnessing network effects, reducing users' concerns about lock-in, and stimulating production of differentiated goods that meet the needs of user segments. At the same time, opening a platform typically reduces users' switching costs and increases competition among platform providers, making it more difficult for them to appropriate rents from the platform. This paper describes research on factors that motivate managers to open or close mature platforms. Read More

Updating a Classic: Writing a Great Business Plan

Harvard Business School professor William A. Sahlman's article on how to write a great business plan is a Harvard Business Review classic, and has just been reissued in book form. We asked Sahlman what he would change if he wrote the article, now a decade old, today. Read More

Making the Decision to Franchise (or not)

Owners operating outlets across multiple markets have a variety of organizational models to choose from, including franchising. The decision is one of the most important they will make. A new Harvard Business School study looks at how 420 convenience store chains organized to serve diverse customers. Read More

Bank Structure and the Terms of Lending to Small Businesses

Access to "soft information" and the greater sensitivity of decentralized banks to the local institutional environment can have both positive and negative consequences for small firms. Hence there may be a dark side to decentralized bank lending in certain instances. This paper argues that the same ability of decentralized banks to act on soft information also makes them more responsive to the local environment when setting terms of their loans. While this can be beneficial for small businesses in competitive markets, it also implies that the organizational structure of decentralized banks might allow them to better exploit their market power in concentrated banking markets by restricting credit or charging higher interest rates from small businesses. Read More

Getting Down to the Business of Creativity

Business leaders must manage and support creativity just as they would any other asset. Harvard Business School professors Teresa Amabile, Mary Tripsas, and Mukti Khaire discuss where creativity comes from, how entrepreneurs use it, and why innovation is often a team sport. From the HBS Alumni Bulletin. Read More

Encouraging Entrepreneurs: Lessons for Government Policy

Who you know and how much money is in your pocket have always been significant contributors to entrepreneurial success. New research by Harvard Business School professor Ramana Nanda explores new wrinkles in this age-old formula—and how government policy may impact entrepreneurship. Read More

Sharpening Your Skills: Starting a Business

Thinking about starting your own business? Read our collection of articles on legal issues, managing resources, product development, and keeping owner control. Read More

Putting Entrepreneurship in the Social Sector

Despite the best of intentions and trillions of dollars worth of assets, nonprofits have been unable to solve many of society's worst ills. A new casebook by 4 Harvard Business School professors argues that the social sector should take an entrepreneurial approach. Q&A with coauthor Jane C. Wei-Skillern. Read More

Peer Effects and Entrepreneurship

How do your coworkers affect your decision to become an entrepreneur? The vast majority of entrepreneurs launch their new ventures following a period of employment in established organizations. To date, factors such as the degree of bureaucracy that individuals have experienced have been shown to shape their likelihood to go into business for themselves. But socialization matters, too. Nanda and Sørensen show that the career experiences of coworkers shape both the information and the resources available to prospective entrepreneurs, as well as the value that individuals attach to entrepreneurial activity as a career choice. Read More

Cost of External Finance and Selection into Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs are, on average, significantly wealthier than people who work in paid employment. Research shows that entrepreneurs comprise fewer than 9 percent of households in the United States but they hold 38 percent of household assets and 39 percent of the total net worth. This relationship between personal wealth and entrepreneurship has long been seen as evidence of market failure, meaning that talented but less wealthy individuals are precluded from entrepreneurship because they don't have sufficient wealth to finance their new ventures. Nanda studied how changes in the cost of external finance affected the characteristics and likelihood of individuals becoming entrepreneurs. He finds that market failure accounts for only a small fraction of the relationship between personal wealth and entrepreneurship in advanced economies such as the U.S. Read More

Billions of Entrepreneurs in China and India

Entrepreneurship in both China and India is rising dramatically and thriving under quite different conditions. HBS professor Tarun Khanna explains what it all means in this Q&A about his new book, Billions of Entrepreneurs: How China and India Are Reshaping Their Futures and Yours. Plus: book excerpt. Read More

What Do Non-Governmental Organizations Do?

Non-governmental organizations play an increasingly important role in international development. They serve as a funnel for development funds both from individual donors in wealthy countries and from bilateral aid agencies. At the same time, NGOs are frequently idealized as organizations committed to "doing good" while setting aside profit or politics—a romantic view that is too starry-eyed. Development-oriented NGOs, which have existed for centuries, have played a growing role in development since the end of World War II; there are currently 20,000 international NGOs. This paper argues that the strengths of NGOs and their weaknesses easily fit into economists' conceptualization of not-for-profit contractors. Read More

Pursuing a Deadly Opportunity

Cadavers are a necessity for medical students and researchers, but the business of supplying this market is a touchy moral and ethical issue. Harvard Business School professor Michel Anteby and research associate Mikell Hyman explore strategies used by both academic and entrepreneurial organizations that deal in the dead. Read More

The Changing Face of American Innovation

Chinese and Indian scientists and engineers have made an unexpectedly large contribution to U.S. technology formation over the last 30 years, according to new research by HBS professor William R. Kerr. But that trend may be ebbing, with potentially harmful effects on future growth in American innovation. Read More

Jumpstarting Innovation: Using Disruption to Your Advantage

Fostering innovation in a mature company can often seem like a swim upstream—the needs of the existing business often overwhelm attempts to create something new. Harvard Business School professor Lynda M. Applegate shows how one of the forces that threatens established companies can also be a source of salvation: disruptive change. Plus: Innovation worksheets. Read More

Diasporas and Domestic Entrepreneurs: Evidence from the Indian Software Industry

Several recent studies have highlighted the important role that cross-border ethnic networks might play in facilitating entrepreneurship in developing countries. Little is known, however, about the extent to which domestic entrepreneurs rely on the diaspora and whether this varies systematically by the characteristics of the entrepreneurs or their local business environment. The Indian diaspora is estimated at over 18 million people spanning 130 countries. Given that formal institutions in India remain weak and hence the informal barriers to trade are higher, do diaspora networks serve as substitutes to the functioning of the local business environment? Do they help entrepreneurs to circumvent the barriers to trade arising from imperfect institutions? This study examines the extent to which software entrepreneurs within India vary in their reliance on expatriate networks. Read More

The Speed of New Ideas: Trust, Institutions and the Diffusion of New Products

Does trust confer competitive advantage in terms of time, money, and productivity? Previous research indicates that it does. This study shifts perspective slightly and asks whether trust can also act as a barrier to entry. In other words, are trusted suppliers protected from competition if buyers are reluctant to try new products and services offered by other suppliers? Oberholzer-Gee and Calanog explored the link between levels of trust and the decision to adopt a new product using a field experiment on the diffusion of an innovative floor drain for the plumbing market. Read More

Will Market Forces Stop Global Warming?

HBS professor Jim Heskett sums up many creative responses from readers on the role of business in combatting global climate change. Online forum now closed. Closed for comment; 59 Comments posted.

Banking Deregulation, Financing Constraints and Entrepreneurship

What effect does an increase in banking competition have on the entry of start-ups? In particular, does an increase in banking competition have a differential effect on the entry of start-ups relative to the opening of new establishments by existing firms? The U.S. branch banking deregulations provide a useful laboratory for studying how banking competition affects small businesses. Prior to 1970, all but twelve states had stringent restrictions on the ability of banks to open new branches or to acquire the branches of other banks within the state; beginning in the 1970s and until 1994, all but two states removed these restrictions. In this research, Kerr and Nanda studied the entry of newly incorporated businesses between 1976 and 1999 using detailed data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau. Their findings matter for understanding how reforms that affect the financing environment may improve the real economy through the reallocation of resources in the non-financial sectors. Read More

The Money Connection—Understanding VC Networks

Venture capital firms often consider investments in companies located far away or in unfamiliar industries. How do they spot these opportunities and also reduce risk? It's the power of networks, says Harvard Business School professor Toby Stuart—and understanding how they work in VC is just now starting to be understood. Read More

Rich or Royal: What Do Founders Want?

It's a fundamental tension many entrepreneurs face, the conflict between wanting to become rich and wanting to keep control of their new company. Few can have both. Professor Noam Wasserman discusses his research into the motivations of entrepreneurs and the people who invest in them. Read More

Andy Grove: A Biographer’s Tale

Podcast: For Harvard Business School professor Richard S. Tedlow, Intel co-founder Andy Grove is one of the most important and intriguing CEOs in American business history. In this interview, Tedlow discusses his new biography, Andy Grove: The Life and Times of an American with Jim Aisner. Read More

Report from China: The New Entrepreneurs

When a delegation of Harvard Business School faculty visited Chinese entrepreneurs, they came away with something unexpected: the start of what could be a fundamental rethinking of how entrepreneurship works. Read More

The Success of Reverse Leveraged Buyouts

RLBOs have a bad rap, but Josh Lerner says the reputation is not deserved. Studying almost 500 private equity-led IPOs over a 22-year period, Lerner and co-researcher Jerry Cao conclude that reverse leveraged buyouts in general outperformed other IPOs and the market as a whole. Quick flips, however, are another story. Read More

Surviving Success: When Founders Must Go

At some point, a start-up's founder usually cedes CEO responsibilities to a seasoned manager. But what roles does the founder assume next? Professor Noam Wasserman discusses a recent case study and what students learn from it in the classroom. From HBS Alumni Bulletin. Read More

International Financial Integration and Entrepreneurship

Why does entrepreneurship flourish in some countries and struggle in others? Economists and policymakers are divided on whether the rapid rate of global financial integration, specifically the explosive growth of foreign direct investment, helps or hurts local entrepreneurs and domestic economies. To see the differential effects of restrictions on capital mobility on entrepreneurship, Alfaro of HBS and Charlton of the London School of Economics analyzed data on 24 million firms—listed and unlisted—in nearly 100 countries in 1999 and 2004. Read More

How Kayak Users Built a New Industry

Customers have produced some of the most important innovations in industries ranging from oil refining to scientific instruments. But how do user innovations take place? How do they get to market? Professor Carliss Baldwin discusses research into the rodeo kayak industry to understand the world of user innovation. Read More

Women Find New Path to Work

Professor Myra Hart's New Path program helps Harvard Business School alumnae re-enter the work world. Here is a look at what participants learned about life, work, and the quickly changing world of business. Read More

Are Company Founders Underpaid?

Company founders have a tough time convincing their boards to increase compensation, says HBS professor Noam Wasserman. He discusses his research into "founder frustration" areas. Read More

Turning High Potential into Real Reward

Transforming high-potential ventures into high-performance ventures, says professor Joseph Lassiter, depends on combining what, how, and who you know. From New Business. Read More

The Case of the Mystery Writer’s Brand

A look behind how professor John Deighton developed a case study of mystery writer James Patterson. From the HBS Alumni Bulletin. Read More

VCs Survey Post-Bubble Opportunities

At the annual Cyberposium conference held at Harvard Business School, venture capitalists pondered what makes for winners and losers in the new VC landscape. Read More

How Can Start Ups Grow?

For new ventures a lack of resources makes growth difficult to come by—just ask those nine out of ten fledgling firms that fail. Professor Mukti Khaire says the key may be in acquiring intangible resources such as legitimacy, status, and reputation. Read More

The Founding CEO’s Dilemma: Stay or Go?

Bill Gates and Larry Ellison are rare birds. In this interview by HBS senior lecturer Mike Roberts for New Business, professor Noam Wasserman explains how and why many founding chief executives find themselves replaced. Read More

Four VCs on Evaluating Opportunities

Four venture capitalists explain to Harvard Business School professor Mike Roberts and senior research associate Lauren Barley how they evaluate potential investments. Read More

Lessons of Successful Entrepreneurs

The best way to become an entrepreneur is to jump into the water and get your feet wet, said several successful businessmen at the Harvard Business School Entrepreneurship Conference. Read More

Entrepreneurial Hospital Pioneers New Model

A "Robin Hood" cardiac hospital in India—which charges wealthy patients, yet equally welcomes the destitute—is an exciting example of entrepreneurship in the subcontinent, says HBS professor Tarun Khanna. Read More

Cash and the Woman-Owned Business

Female entrepreneurs often lack start-up cash. This excerpt from the book Clearing the Hurdles, co-authored by HBS professor Myra M. Hart, explains what women can do about it. Read More

Luxury Isn’t What It Used to Be

The $60 billion global luxury goods market’s most recognizable brands—Thomas Pink, Steuben, Godiva, among them—are refreshing products and creating lower-priced lines. Read More

Radical Change, Entrepreneurial Opportunity

A key to exploiting radical technological change is to clear your vision of historical constraints and see new opportunities with a fresh perspective. Michael J. Roberts interviews HBS professor Mary Tripsas. Read More

What Great American Leaders Teach Us

A new database on great American leaders offers surprising insights on the nature of leadership. A Q&A with Tony Mayo, executive director of the Harvard Business School Leadership Initiative. Read More

What Developing-World Companies Teach Us About Innovation

A mini case study by professor Donald N. Sull and coauthors on how three businesses in developing countries overcome a lack of resources to succeed. From Strategy & Innovation. Read More

How Women Can Get More Venture Capital

What is it like today for women entrepreneurs in their quest for venture capital funding? In an interview, professor Myra M. Hart shares her latest research and ideas. Read More

Pride Goeth Before a Profit

For best results, managers should tap into the pride of their employees. This article from Harvard Management Communication Letter explains how. Read More

Shackleton: An Entrepreneur of Survival

Polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton is the subject of a new HBS case study. Professor Nancy F. Koehn discusses lessons for leaders from the voyage of the Endurance. Read More

Around the World of Entrepreneurial Ventures

Whether delivering pizza or building gizmos for cell phones, the companies that get launched outside the United States bring unique issues to the table, says HBS professor Walter Kuemmerle. Read More

Expensing Options Won’t Hurt High Tech

Will expensing stock options harm the competitiveness of start-ups? Not likely, say Zvi Bodie, Robert S. Kaplan, and Robert C. Merton in this Harvard Business Review excerpt. Read More

Are Crummy Products Your Next Growth Opportunity?

Clayton M. Christensen, author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, talks about his upcoming follow-on book on creating sustainable new-growth businesses. His conclusions may surprise you. Read More

Six Keys to Building New Markets by Unleashing Disruptive Innovation

Managers know they need growth to survive—but innovation isn't easy. In this Harvard Management Update article, HBS professor Clayton Christensen and co-authors detail the six keys to creating new-growth businesses. Read More

Top Ten Legal Mistakes Made by Entrepreneurs

The life of a startup can be precarious, a wrong turn disastrous. Harvard Business School professor Constance Bagley discusses the most frequent legal flops made by entrepreneurs, everything from hiring the wrong lawyer to puffing up the business plan. Read More

Building Communities as Well as Companies

Starting and sustaining a minority-owned business has never been easy. The challenges are even greater in today's tough economy. Successful entrepreneurs share their experiences. Read More

Tales of the Newly-minted MBA

One moved back home. Another said his career subscribed to "chaos theory." The career paths of new Harvard Business School MBAs have wandered, some very far, from where the young executives had anticipated. Read More

China: The Next Big Market Opportunity or the Next Big Bubble?

Is China post WTO a land of great entrepreneurial opportunity, or a house of cards threatening to collapse on foreign investors? Closed for comment; 20 Comments posted.

Enterprising Women—a History

In conjunction with the major exhibit "Enterprising Women: 250 Years of American Business," the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study recently presented a two-day program entitled Women, Money and Power. Harvard Business School professor Nancy F. Koehn participated in the conference's opening panel—an informal discussion and reflection on the exhibit and its major themes. Read More

Women Entrepreneurs Usher in the Next Generation

American society throws women entrepreneurs plenty of roadblocks. But at the recent Women, Money, and Power conference, a new generation of businesswomen offered advice and ideas for change. Harvard Business School professor Linda A. Hill led the discussion. Read More

A Litmus Test for Entrepreneurs

Are you cut out to conquer the challenges facing today's entrepreneur? HBS professor Walter Kuemmerle has developed a litmus test to help you decide. Two key questions: Do you have the patience to start small? Are you a closer? Read More

Entrepreneurship in Asia and Foreign Direct Investment

A look at local entrepreneurship in four economies in Asia offers a fascinating lens on Foreign Direct Investment, says HBS professor Yasheng Huang. Discussing his new research proposal at an HBS International Seminar recently, Huang also offered insights on what it might mean as China rises. Read More

Entrepreneurship: It Can Be Taught

Highlights from a discussion with HBS professors Howard Stevenson, Richard Hamermesh, and Paul Marshall (moderated by Mike Roberts) on teaching entrepreneurship at HBS. Read More

Case Study: A Lesson in Private Venture Financing

Using a case discussion on Gray Security Services, Harvard Business School associate professor Walter Kuemmerle highlights issues confronting entrepreneurs and investors interested in Africa. Read More

Guts and Bliss: The Entrepreneur’s Journey

How do entrepreneurs stoke their courage during a recession? For a determined group who started their own businesses during easier times, the answer at the recent conference was simple: There's still nothing that compares to entrepreneurship. Read More

Venture Capital: Hot Markets and Current Industry Trends

Yes, the economy has soured. But that doesn't mean venture capitalists are waiting on the sidelines. VC panelists discuss what is hot (healthcare), what is not (wireless), and how daily life has changed (a lot). Read More

Women Entrepreneurs Use Springboard for Funding

The Springboard Venture Capital Forum, held recently at Harvard Business School, was a platform for twenty-three women entrepreneurs seeking heavy-duty financing. Read More

The Three Components of Family Governance

Having described the framework of family business governance and the governance of the business, John Davis discusses the most challenging of the family business governance topics—governance of the family itself. Read More

Organizing the Family-Run Business

Part Two: The intricacies of creating a board for the family-run business. Read More

How To Be an Angel Investor

Is angel investing right for you? HBS professor Howard Stevenson and David Amis, previous Managing Director of the Venture Capital Report, provide tools and advice to potential angels, and a resource manual for early stage investors. Read More

Governing the Family-Run Business

Corporate governance can be difficult enough—but what happens when your board of directors is comprised of your cousins? Or when your CEO is your sister? Harvard Business School's John Davis discusses governance issues unique to the family-run business. Read More

Sam Walton: Great From the Start

Sam Walton’s retailing career began September 1, 1945, in Newport, Arkansas. He paid a princely $25,000 to Butler Brothers to franchise a 5,000-square-foot Ben Franklin’s variety store. In this excerpt from Giants of Enterprise: Seven Business Innovators and the Empires They Built, author and HBS professor Richard S. Tedlow depicts the huge success Walton made of his first store—against all odds. The book is scheduled for publication later this year by HarperBusiness. Excerpted with permission of the author. Read More

Brand Power from Wedgwood to Dell: Part Two

How do you make the jump from leading a small team in the proverbial garage to heading a multibillion-dollar business? HBS professor Nancy F. Koehn has answers. Second of two parts. Read More

Angels Face the Innovator’s Dilemma

According to HBS professor Clayton M. Christensen, the venture capital industry—like computers, telephony, and brokerage before it—is susceptible to the same forces that have waylaid many seemingly invincible players. What that means, said the author of the influential bestseller The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail, is that the time is ripe for the right people to create new, disruptive forms of financing. Read More

Brand Power from Wedgwood to Dell: Part One

What can we learn from the lives of six masterful entrepreneurs from 1759 through the present day? Lots, according to HBS professor Nancy F. Koehn, as she explains in a conversation about her latest book. Read More

Who Wants to Be an Entrepreneur? [Part II]

People are buzzing about two classes at HBS that showcase the School's new approach to teaching management. Hear from the instructors who lead them and alumni who took the plunge. John S. Rosenberg takes you there in this article from Harvard Magazine. Part two. Read More

Want to Be an Entrepreneur? [Part I]

Visit two classes that showcase HBS's new approach to teaching management, and hear from alumni who took the plunge. John S. Rosenberg sorts it all out in this article from Harvard Magazine. Part one of a two-part series. Read More

Digital Designs on the Inner City

Bridging the digital divide, at least in inner cities, requires a lot more than computer power — although more computers would certainly be nice. According to business and political leaders who focus their efforts on empowering residents of urban areas, access is only one rung on the ladder. Stated one Harlem entrepreneur, "It's more so about attitude." And attitudes, panelists noted, can be shaped by exposure to the wonders of technology. Read More

Group Therapy

By filling gaps in the infrastructure of emerging economies, business groups can both foster and deter entrepreneurship in various ways. Peter K. Jacobs explores the research of HBS associate professor Tarun Khanna in this article from Working Knowledge. Read More

Creating Value Across Borders

A conversation with HBS associate professor Walter Kuemmerle provides insight into the entrepreneurial process in a global setting. Read More

Gurus in the Garage

A new breed of advisors, known as mentor capitalists, has seeded Silicon Valley with knowledge and expertise. Dorothy Leonard and Walter Swap explain why this new kind of mentoring has flourished in the Valley. Read More

The Entrepreneurial Venture: A Conversation

Twenty-five years after graduation, four members of the HBS Class of '75 reflect on the enterprising spirit that has characterized both their generation and their own careers. Read More

Networked Incubators: Hothouses of the New Economy

Are business incubators a fleeting phenomenon or a lasting way of bringing start-ups to fruition? Four HBS professors argue that one particular model—the "networked incubator"—is most likely to endure. Read More

Entrepreneurship in Europe

Can the entrepreneurial spirit that's thrived in the U.S. and flourished amid the bloom of the dot.com economy make it in Europe and, if so, what will it take? Read More

What’s an Internet Business Model? Ask a Health Care Professional

Health care and the Internet are well-matched for each other, quipped one panelist at the IS2K conference, "because no one wants to pay for either." Quips aside, the health care field is emerging as one of the busiest laboratories for exciting new business models—and the stakes are high indeed. In a discussion moderated by HBS Professor Lynda Applegate, experts in this burgeoning realm of Internet activity talked about what their businesses are doing to change the rules, all while trying to fulfill their primary goal of earning patients' trust. Read More

Entrepreneurship’s Wild Ride

Entrepreneurship's rise as a business phenomenon has occurred side-by-side with its emergence as a centerpiece of modern business education. In this conversation with Mike Roberts, Executive Director of Entrepreneurial Studies at HBS, Professor Howard Stevenson reflects on how academic inquiry has affected entrepreneurial practice and how scholars can learn from today's entrepreneurs. Read More

Market Makers Bid for Success

Two CEOs at the forefront of the transformation in the way businesses buy and sell goods—Scott Randall of FairMarket (HBS MBA '87) and Glen Meakem of FreeMarkets (HBS MBA '91—spoke with Professor Bill Sahlman recently about their paths to new business models and what they've learned along the way. Read More

Incubators: The New Venture Capitalists?

Once the sleepy domain of universities and public development agencies, business incubators have shown new life in the Internet economy. Focused on providing new ventures not just with funding, but also with services, advice, connections and physical space, they offer a new way for dot.com companies to get to market fast. Four leaders from this rapidly growing industry looked at incubators and their relation to the traditional world of venture capital. Read More

The Right Connections

In attracting funding for a new venture, report HBS Professor Monica Higgins and her colleague Ranjay Gulati of Northwestern University, professional ties and company connections are even more important than a good product in inspiring the trust and loosening the wallets of potential investors. Read More

John H. Patterson and the Sales Strategy of the National Cash Register Company, 1884 to 1922

John H. Patterson's sales management techniques built National Cash Register into the dominant force in its industry and had a major impact on the development of modern selling. This excerpt from Business History Review looks at one aspect of the Patterson method. Read More

It Came in the First Ships: Capitalism in America

The Virginians in Jamestown, the Puritans in Massachusetts Bay, the Quakers in Pennsylvania and other early settlers of what later became the United States all brought with them elements of capitalism, precursors of the future nation's market-driven direction. In this excerpt from his article "American Capitalism" in Creating Modern Capitalism: How Entrepreneurs, Companies, and Countries Triumphed in Three Industrial Revolutions, HBS Professor Thomas K. McCraw looks at the early years of capitalism on the North American continent. Read More

The Intellectual Underpinnings of Entrepreneurial Management

The term entrepreneur — literally, "undertaker"—has been around for over two centuries, but attempts to define it have remained elusive. In this excerpt from their article "Entrepreneurial Management: In Pursuit of Opportunity," HBS Professors Howard H. Stevenson and Teresa M. Amabile look back at the roots of entrepreneneurship as an academic field of interest and ahead to what they believe will be "the entrepreneur's century." Read More

How to Write a Great Business Plan

HBS Professor William Sahlman tells entrepreneurs how to give themselves a better shot at success. Read More

Women Leading Business: A New Kind of Conversation

For women in business today, there's much more to talk about than gender specific issues like dual career families or the glass ceiling. Women Leading Business, an HBS Executive Forum, brings together executive women—entrepreneurs and corporate leaders alike—for a different kind of conversation about strategy, decision-making and paths to success. In this interview, Professor Myra Hart talks about the program, and how it enhances both the personal and professional lives of senior-level businesswomen. Read More