I discovered a recent publication outlining the demographic and sociological make-up of the average Entrepreneur and how it may differ from what most of us identify as the "typical" stereotype. The publication is The Anatomy of an Entrepreneur: Family Background and Motivation (July 2009, Vivek Wadhwa, et al.). They interviewed 549 company founders and asked probing question to try and discover why and how people end up starting their own businesses, in hopes of discovering how to harness and cultivate this trait to create new businesses.
The stereotype seems to be the young, single, very intelligent, fresh out of college workaholic, who came up with something in the computer science sector (which I believe holds true for the Silicon Valley entrepreneurs). However, despite computer hardware and software still being the largest industry in this report, the dynamic make of the average entrepreneur was a bit skewed to what you may otherwise have perceived.
Top 10 Factors that give you a better shot at being a successful Entrepreneur:
- You are married with 3 kids ... wow maybe some people can do it all!
- You were in the top percentiles in high school .. smarty pants!
- You pursued higher education ... that's why they tell you to stay in school kids!
- You are from a middle-class family ... even the average Joe can get in on the action.
- You are better educated than your parents ... that's unfortunate for your kids!!
- You have likely worked for an employer for about 6 years before launching your own start-up ... working for the man.
- You are the middle child ... see its not all bad being that kid.
- You are the first in your family to start a business ... expect to employ your siblings.
- You were born in the USA ... lets get populating people!
- You began the start-up to build wealth, own your own company, and to capitalize on a business idea you came up with ... all good reasons in my book.
So I guess the point of it all is that if you have a great idea, with the determination and drive to see it through (it probably also helps to live in the valley) then you can make it happen. I mean if a 'mature', parent of 3, regular geek, with a bunch of student loans can do it - so can you J