Tag Archives: Entrepreneurship

How can corporations encourage “garage entrepreneurship” in their workers?

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It is always inspiring to read about how Steve Jobs succeeded, and how a guy working in his garage became a billionaire through sheer passion, perseverance, and brain power. He made it there through “garage thinking.” Innovating on a shoe string in a garage! But, big corporations often lack innovative capabilities. Their workers are too engrained in the cubicle mentality. If you work in a cubicle, pretty soon your brain will become a cubicle if you ask me. To succeed you need tremendous drive, but you also need the independence and environment to succeed.

Using artificial conditions to foster entrepreneurship
Real start-up entrepreneurs use their garage often because that is the only place they can use. But, imagine what would happen if you put your workers in entrepreneur type positions and created a virtual garage in a huge warehouse next to your office? Or, what if you asked them to work at home in their own garage? In real life, garage type entrepreneurs start organically. I don’t think they can be artificially produced under the right circumstances. There is something innate about a good entrepreneur. Even if everyone around them tells them that it is bad to be an entrepreneur, they will want to do it anyway! I think that creating a warehouse filled with garages is a silly idea, but makes for a great blog article!

A plethora of garages
Imagine that these faux-entrepeneurs were asked to come to work unshaven wearing torn t-shirts or tank tops, whatever successful entrepreneurs wore when they started out. Let’s put a little more pressure on these folks. Real entrepreneurs will go broke and lose everything if they fail. They are under real pressure, and have real drive to make sure their invention doesn’t fail. Let’s sign a contract with these workers that if their invention sells, they get a percentage, but if they fail, they get fired and have to pay the company $5000. That contract will separate the men from the boys. No more excuses. This is the real deal. You can duplicate a dusty garage, but can you duplicate the pressure that a real entrepreneur goes through? The answer is — to a point. I’m sure that you cannot duplicate an entrepreneur’s drive to succeed, but what if someone with a quarter of that drive were put under the right combinations of circumstances — could that guy make it as an entrepreneur? It is quite possible.

Internal drives fluctuate
We all know that to become an entrepreneur you need tremendous drive and internal discipline. I remember stating businesses as a child. I was completely incompetent, yet I always worked really hard and managed to turn a profit. I have that innate entrepreneurial spirit that others lack. But, if someone with 25% of the necessary drive were thrown into a situation where they would be subjected to the same market pressures of an entrepreneur, I feel their drive would fluctuate in the up direction in many cases.

A warehouse filled with faux garages is a wonderful concept to think about and write about. I would love to see this concept documented on CNN one day and see it breed some real entrepreneurs that will change the world like Steve Jobs!