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When considering the optimal number of founders for any new entrepreneurial adventure, the calculus extends well beyond simple formulas seemingly supported by observations of startup cohorts within specific industries. Famous technology twosomes that come to mind include David Packard and William Hewlett of Hewlett-Packard, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak of Apple, Paul Allen and Bill Gates of Microsoft, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google. In these examples, it is widely observed that these buddy teams complemented each other well in the early formative years of their companies.
A lone startup that had set up shop in a house on a typical Kansas City block has some new neighbors. In less than one year—with the recent installation of Google Fiber serving as a potential catalyst—that same block is now home to a dense pocket of startup activity and has been duly dubbed the Kansas City Startup Village.
In her book, It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us, Hillary Clinton famously (or infamously, based upon your politics) advocated for a society that assumes shared responsibility for raising children. I have concluded that there is some value to "the Village," but in an emerging way that may be redefining what we expect from the communities in which we engage.
One of the greatest gifts of my job is the opportunity to meet entrepreneurs. A couple weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to talk entrepreneurship with Barnett Helzberg, Jr., former CEO of Helzberg Diamonds. Turns out this iconic entrepreneur, who's sold a company to Warren Buffet, knows a thing or two about entrepreneurship.
In the entrepreneurship and economic development realms, the word “high-growth” is tossed about loosely, often used to define that rare, illusive, overnight success of a startup. But a recent study by Kauffman has proved that high-growth firms aren’t as hard-pressed to find as we thought … so long as you’re looking in the right places.
The once easy choice for many of going from high school to some form of accredited higher education is becoming less of a forgone conclusion simply because of the economics and by the entrance of for-profit schools of varying types; including alternative options to college altogether like the UnCollege movement and the Thiel Fellowship program. The entrance of these new players (entrepreneurs) will impact some traditional sources of higher education and certainly challenge our obedient consumer consensus that a ‘traditional’ education will best serve my progeny.
I had my reservations about starting the Top of Mind video channel—mainly because there are a lot of good sources for observations and opinions on the increasingly popular topic of entrepreneurship. But we have proceeded with this effort because one of the rare privileges I have, by virtue of my position and the work we do at the foundation, is being granted access to events and thinking that are not common to many.
The videos for today feature Venezuela and the UK.
See some of the great images from around the world in this feed of Instagram photos from the 2012 Global Entrepreneurship Week.
I recently read an article on Forbes.com about the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur’s spouse or significant other. It brought me back to my own entrepreneurial endeavors and reminded me of a few coping mechanisms my wife of now 23 years and I picked up along the way.
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