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How do Entrepreneurs Think?


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How do entrepreneurs think? For a long time I thought entrepreneurs are irrational and there is no framework / science behind their thought process but Prof. Saras' work on effectual resoning solves this mystery.

The word “effectual” is the inverse of “causal”. While causal thinkers are like great generals seeking to conquer fertile lands (Genghis Khan conquering two thirds of the known world), effectual thinkers are like explorers setting out on voyages into uncharted waters (Columbus discovering the new world).

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How do Entrepreneurs Think?

  1. 1. Effectual Thinking & Entrepreneurship Pleroma
  2. 2. Managerial Thinking - Causal Reasoning • Selecting between given means to achieve a pre-determined goal Given Goal M 1 M 2 M 3 M 4
  3. 3. Strategic Thinking - Creative Causal Reasoning • Generating new means to achieve pre- determined goals Given Goal M 1 M 2 M 3 M 4 M 5 M 6
  4. 4. • Imagining possible new ends using a given set of mean Entrepreneurial Thinking - Effectual Reasoning M 1 M 2 M 5 M 3M 4 Imagined Ends E1 E2 E3 E4 E5 E6 E7 Three categories of Means • Who they are – Traits – Tastes – Abilities • What they know – Education – Training – Expertise • Whom they know – Social network – Professional network
  5. 5. Difference Planning Execution Causal Reasoning Customer Interaction & Execution Plans made Plans Unmade Plans Revised Plans Recast Effectual Reasoning
  6. 6. Principles of Effectual Reasoning Affordable Loss Strategic Partnership Leveraging Contingencies
  7. 7. Affordable Loss • Managers are taught to analyze the market and choose target segments with the highest potential. • Entrepreneurs find ways to reach the market with minimum expenditure of resources such as time, effort, and money. • Ideal case: Zero resources to market • Entrepreneurs - Open themselves to surprises as to which market or markets they will eventually end up building their business in or even which new markets they will end up creating.
  8. 8. Strategic Partnership • Focus on building partnerships NOT competitive analysis. • Ideal beginning => induction of customers into strategic partnerships. • Strategic partnerships + Affordable loss = idea to market at the least capital outlay.
  9. 9. Leveraging Contingencies • The ability to turn the unexpected into the profitable. • Ready,Fire,Aim [@Arjuna, You got it wrong bro] • Not all surprises are bad and that surprises, whether good or bad, can be used as inputs into the new venture creation
  10. 10. Logic about Future • Causal reasoning => “To the extent that we can predict the future, we can control it.“ • Effectual reasoning => “To the extent that we can control the future, we do not need to predict it.”
  11. 11. Future -Create • They believe that the future is not “out there” to be discovered, but that it gets created through the very strategies of the players.
  12. 12. Reference • s/documents/what-makes-entrepreneurs- entrepreneurial-sarasvathy.pdf Pleroma