Saturday, April 7, 2012

Kauffman Foundation Interview


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  2. Well said, the system vs entrepreneurship vision is the result of the limited field of consciousness - it is in the mind and also in the language. The interesting part of entrepreneurship is the role of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs, to be the transition agents towards a more adapted situation. They are the facilitators of bringing-in requisite variety into a system of incumbents that have become too much of the same pattern of thinking. And in doing so, they create a new language caring for the emergence and growth of its users.

    There is enormous difficulty in freeing the mind from old patterns both on personal and a group level. Patterns do tend to become congealed and this has a lot to do with limits of growth - stagnation of companies, entire cultures. The innovation in the rules of the system, is indispensable for the fluidity and adaptation as Elinor Ostrom has shown. And this reveals the serious rub with the 2-way mindset (system vs lone entrepreneur).

    When we consider companies as growth experiments, we have the benefit of a great sample. When we consider projects and startups, we have a more distinct one - of a very precise period in the life of an organization. And when we look at internet companies, we have the opportunity to observe the workings of rules, governance and teams at great scale and speed, in a relatively comparable environment.

    What if the "system/incumbent OS" could understand that entrepreneurship as a way - a how - of acting from which to learn and not an example of what to do? For example, renouncing "profit" - as the accumulation of "tokens" along any dominant value system that defines the OS - in favor of discovering new patterns of value in a new condition/state that cannot be grasped by the majority of the incumbent mind?

    Organizations run out of freedom extremely fast and reach situations where everyone is merely a "pars-pro-toto" - as the limitations in the mind perceived reality becomes stagnant. At that point, the rate at which the factors of change "emigrate" - leave the firm or country or culture - is such that entrepreneurship can only happen "outside the dominant OS".