Summary of Finding Fertile Ground

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Finding Fertile Ground book summary


8 Overall

9 Applicability

8 Innovation

6 Style


Scott A. Shane’s excellent book focuses on technology entrepreneurs - no discussions of starting your own hair salon or sushi restaurant here. In fact, he notes that the original title specified "technology entrepreneurship" rather than entrepreneurship in general, though this is a valuable contribution to entrepreneurship literature. Most works on entrepreneurialism emphasize the personality characteristics of successful entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs, common wisdom says, are hard driving, charismatic and visionary. Shane turns sharply away from this "entrepreneurial cult of personality," and presents a strong case that what really counts is picking the right industry to enter in the first place, and then proceeding correctly. strongly recommends this to entrepreneurs because it guides them to the industries, strategies and perspectives that are likeliest to work. It indeed plows fertile ground.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to apply the 10 rules for creating a start-up company;
  • Why selecting the most fertile industrial sector is your most important entrepreneurial decision; and
  • What business opportunities you should view with extreme skepticism.

About the Author

Scott A. Shane, Ph.D., has written more than 50 articles on innovation management and entrepreneurship, as well as several books on entrepreneurship. He is a professor of economics and entrepreneurship at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University and previously taught at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.



Choosing Wisely
The next time you walk through a crowd, consider this: four out of every 100 people you pass are starting their own companies. In fact, business owners are 13% of the nonagricultural work force in the U.S. Being an entrepreneur, it seems, is as American as apple pie.

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