SCB12: The New Paradigms of Entrepreneurship

By Silicon Allee |

By Sandy Hathaway at Startup Camp Berlin

In Russian Roulette, putting a gun to your head means there is a one in six chance you’ll blow your brains out. In entrepreneurship, the odds of annihilation are four out of five – 80 percent of all startups fail.

That was the sobering analogy put forward by Professor Dr. Günter Faltin of the Freie Universität Berlin at the start of his keynote on Saturday morning at Startup Camp Berlin 2012. He further postulated that the most common mistakes behind this statistic include not understanding innovation from the perspective of the market, the distractions of business administration and not taking a lean approach to entrepreneurship.

And Prof. Faltin delivered a strong message to the room: Few of you have the brains to be entrepreneurs and business administrators. If your company cannot afford good professionals to take care of all cross-functional operative and financial tasks, then forget it.

He likened the entrepreneur to an artist, a type of person who cannot be successful without taking the time for curiosity, awareness, recognition of new trends, and last but not least leisure time and reflection.

Prof. Faltin proposed solutions on each point: Firstly, the use of concept-creative business models, which define the potential of innovation and the need it will fulfill from the perspective of the market. Secondly, a focus on entrepreneurship and not business administration, allowing entrepreneurs to be the visionary leaders while hiring professionals to run the company.

And finally, something he called modular entrepreneurship; putting together the pieces of your business using efficient components and generating only minimal cost until sales begin to occur.

Prof. Faltin closed by saying that the current situation is a unique one historically, with a clear trend indicating that we have arrived at a turning point where entrepreneurship is becoming the preferred means by which the world will continue to develop.