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Why Do Entrepreneurs Innovate Better Than Managers? 134

netbuzz writes "New research from MIT suggests that entrepreneurs innovate better than managers not because they try more often but rather because when they do try they apply more of their available brainpower to the task. 'We found, somewhat surprisingly, that managers and entrepreneurs did not differ in the probability with which they would undertake explorative (potentially innovative) courses of action. But when entrepreneurs did select explorative tasks, they used both the left and right sides of the frontal cortex of their brain whereas managers only used their left parts of the frontal cortex,' says the lead researcher, MIT Sloan School of Management Visiting Prof. Maurizio Zollo. This is an important difference, he notes, 'because the right side of the frontal cortex is associated with creative thinking, involving to a larger extent emotional processes, whereas the left side is associated with rational decision-making and logic.'"
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Why Do Entrepreneurs Innovate Better Than Managers?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 13, 2013 @01:04PM (#42575159)
    coz they get more excited?

    It's often easier to get funding or buy-in if you're genuinely excited about something rather than thinking dispassionately "this is a good thing technically".
    • by click2005 ( 921437 ) * on Sunday January 13, 2013 @01:24PM (#42575357)

      Managers will look at how much money it'll make and very little else but entrepreneurs will try something because it seems like a good idea.
      The profit/loss for a manager will be a few percent (depending on the market & hollywood accounting) but the entrepreneur will make or lose
      a lot more. Most people seem to forget that for every successful entrepreneur out there you'll find 10 who failed or got stepped on by someone else.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 13, 2013 @01:41PM (#42575479)

        As a former senior manager in a Fortune 50 company, and now a co-founder with my own Series A funded startup, I might share a unique vantage:

        When I was a manager in corporate America, I spent a lot of time weighing the paramaters that came with the job. Often times, I wasn't actually trying to make the 'best decision' in the sense of perfection, but the right decision that fit my company, culture and current political situation as a manager. How might my boss respond to this? How will it be perceived more broadly? What will it do for my personal and team credibility? Do ideas like this one seem to survice in this culture? I probably put as much thought into puzzling through these things as I did trying to 'innovate'. (Oddly, one team I managed was called Innovation Development. But thats another story).

        As a entrepreneur the team is really small. And the parameters are only a few. Really I only have to answer to my co-founder and our investors. And the overall set of paramaters personalities I'm managing against are substantially fewer (and probably of my own choosing) and more 'real' than in corporate america. What people think, or what my boss / team might think, are really non issues now.

        As an entrepreneur, I spend a lot more time thinking bout how to realize the right idea than defending it.

        • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

          by beh ( 4759 ) *

          Good points, anonymous coward... :-)

          There may be a second point - it seems the study may see it the wrong way around: I'm not a manager, but I do have ideas on how we can improve things at various employers; I guess many, probably even most, people have ideas on how to improve a business - or a new idea for some other business. But not everyone feels they have the business acumen to become entrepreneurs.

          Don't you think that having ideas comes first? How many people go out to become entrepreneurs without _an

        • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 13, 2013 @10:29PM (#42578523)

          My father was an executive in a Fortune 5 corporation.

          His most telling advice about managing was that the easiest answer for a manager was "no." His explanation was that as a manager charged with running a 4+billion (1960's) dollar operation, his first responsibility was to NOTlose the company's money; therefore risk avoidance was paramount. His advice for me when I was working in a company developing new processes to manage quality, was to explain to the managers how the process (or products, no difference) would LOWER the risks and enhance the manageability of the process. Thus, I would be communicating to the concerns of the managers.

          Entrepreneurs on the other hand, he explained, are willing to take the risks to develop a new way to do something (or better, something to create an entirely new market or niche.) Thus, they judge the reward/risk ratio, rather than the other way around, and need to be communicated to in the engineer/developer style they need to be assured that theirs is the right path.

          In time, each specialty needs the other. As the project becomes a product, and accrues the necessary infrastructure for support (not only technical) the entrepreneur needs to have managers used to ferreting out those risky aspects of running a mature business; capable of assuring the owners (not just the stockholders, but the process owners also) that their investment isn't in vain.

          • In any large organization, there are levels of bureaucracy. To get a new process or product approved, you usually need to go thru 7 or 8 layers.
            SUCCESS requires getting 7 or 8 Yes answers in a row.
            Failure means only one of those layers of bureaucratic managers has to say No.
      • by ND356 ( 2759723 )

        Most people seem to forget that for every successful entrepreneur out there you'll find 10 who failed or got stepped on by someone else.

        Most people don't seem to understand that every successful entrepreneur fails first and often, sometimes on purpose, learning from his/her failures and applies lessons learned with both sides of the brain. Anyone who avoids failure will never be a successful entrepreneur. The other 10 you write about may or may not be on the continuum of growth that every successful entrepreneur has to experience: a series of rounds of failure, learning, and adaptation. But chances are pretty good that if all 10 of those en

        • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
          But chances are pretty good that if all 10 of those entrepreneurs dust themselves off and keep learning about what customers want (with a great team), all 10 of them will start something amazing

          Nice fairytale, too bad real life doesn't work that way. Most of them will kiss the first corporate ass they can wrap their lips around. Usually somewhere their "buddy" can get them a job with benefits. Several will spiral into unemployement and eventual "retirement" or "disability". One or two will eventually succ
        • every successful entrepreneur fails first and often

          Actually, no, they don't. A few do. Mostly, successful entrepreneurs are defined by the fact that their companies don't fail. Without belaboring the point, this is the story of most big-name startups.

    • by c0lo ( 1497653 )

      coz they get more excited?

      The scientific explanation is:
      1. the entrepreneurs used both the left and right sides of the frontal cortex (with the right side of the frontal cortex acting... indeed... to emotionally excite them)
      2. the managers used both the left side of the frontal cortex and the bottom part of their body (with the bottom part of their body giving a s#17 about all)

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by dywolf ( 2673597 )

      Dont need a scientific reason. It's very simple:

      Managers are hired to maintain the status quo and keep the shop running. They not supposed to take big risks as their boss doesnt want them to risk sinking the company. Slow and steady wins the race type thinking.

      Entrepenaur on the other hand is frequently his own boss, and by it very nature engaged in a high risk situation. He either succeeds and makes money or doesnt and goes broke. Since there is no middle ground, no status quo to maintain, he is actually f

  • Obvious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by egcagrac0 ( 1410377 ) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @01:04PM (#42575165)

    Most managers are tasked with creating stability and predictability.

    Most entrepreneurs have no such commission - the goal is to make money. It's easier to take risks in that pursuit.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      More than just that, most managers can afford to fail. A company can absorb failed projects. An entrepreneur can fail, but risks losing friends, family, and food in the process. That's a huge incentive to be creative and fully engage one's mental capabilities.

      • Re:Obvious (Score:5, Insightful)

        by captaindomon ( 870655 ) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @01:13PM (#42575227)
        Entrepreneurs have also put in a lot more personal capital. If the manager fails, even if he loses his job, he gets a new job. If the entrepreneur fails, he loses his life savings often.
    • Re:Obvious (Score:5, Interesting)

      by GodBlessTexas ( 737029 ) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @01:13PM (#42575225) Journal
      I would also state that in the vast majority of companies, managers are trained not to take risks. I work for a multibillion dollar company where the most common management decision at the mid-management level is simply to do nothing. By not making a decision, they believe they minimize the risk of making the wrong decision, never mind that doing nothing is rarely the right decision. It also means that most management decisions then come from the very top down, which means there's no innovation from the bottom, nor is there any real quality feedback loop since suggestions for improvement never make it up the chain of command. Of course, we're a health insurance company that wastes our members money on high administrative costs, but as long as we don't lose a substantial amount of members (and won't because the individual members don't decide who their company uses for insurance) we have no reason to change. We simply keep raising our rates. It's a very dirty business, and horribly run.
      • Re:Obvious (Score:4, Interesting)

        by obarel ( 670863 ) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @01:40PM (#42575469)

        It's easier to answer "why didn't you do <the right thing>?" than "why did you do <the wrong thing>?". In most cases, "we didn't have enough information at the time" is good enough for the former, whereas it takes a lot more effort to explain the latter.

        An entrepreneur only has to answer "where's my money?" (if s/he's playing with someone else's money), but doesn't have to justify each and every decision.

        • Interesting observation. Also note that if you are a successful entrepreneur, the wrong thing can easily become the right thing. Watch one guy do well and get rich, then watch a bunch of other managers emulate his ideas, decisions and even mannerisms, which often are at best irrelevant and at worst counterproductive. Look closely and it turns out many successful entrepreneurs weren't all that clever or business savvy, they had luck and/or had the guts to seize a passing opportunity.
      • I work for a clearinghouse. I always enjoy giving anyone new that came from a payer a hard time. Along the lines of "Why in the world would you leave a payer to go to a clearinghouse? Now you have to figure out why the claims aren't being paid".
      • You're lucky if you get innovation from the top in that situation. Innovation requires a bit of culture shift in the company, and even senior execs have a hard time getting that kind of change past middle management. Sergei Brin complained about this problem in Google of all companies, and I recently heard an exec VP in a large multinational vent his frustration about the same thing. There's a good reason why companies set up skunk work type incubators.
      • by IICV ( 652597 )

        By not making a decision, they believe they minimize the risk of making the wrong decision, never mind that doing nothing is rarely the right decision.

        Choosing to do nothing is always the right decision when you are trying to minimize personal responsibility for failures. If you choose to do nothing, then nobody can blame you for anything besides inaction; on the other hand, if you choose to do something and it doesn't work out, then anyone who wants to take you out has concrete ammunition.

    • That's obvious, and perfectly reasonable, but that doesn't actually make it true.

      Seems that even if the manager was tasked with making money and offer the same risk and rewards, the mindset that goes into management would do a poorer job of it.
    • lol. I once heard it said that science was inevitably described as either "obvious" or "stupid/wrong" -- still true ;-)

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      Most managers are tasked with creating stability and predictability.

      Most entrepreneurs have no such commission - the goal is to make money. It's easier to take risks in that pursuit.

      Or, another way is most entrepreneurs are "serial entrepreneurs" - they start a company around an idea, build it up, and sell it off. Then they start up some other company on another idea, build it up, sell it off.

      This means they're basically in the growth stage of the company but rarely carry into the maintenance stage where th

  • by smpoole7 ( 1467717 ) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @01:08PM (#42575183) Homepage

    The entrepreneur starts the business, makes it successful, then brings in a PHB to watch the money and keep it running. This has been the case for as long as there have been businesses.

    Entrepreneurs tend to be creative, driven, and willing to work around the clock. They also tend to be terrible at the "boring" things (like money management). They're often terrible at details, too.

    This same basic principle works for established businesses, too. I worked with a company that turned around radio stations many years ago. We'd send in a "hit" team to do the makeover, then put in a PHB to run it after it was successful. Likewise with restaurants: when a new eatery opens, they send in the "A" team to make sure everything is perfect. A few months later, if the restaurant takes off, they send in a "detail" guy to keep it running and making money.

    I wouldn't have thought that it'd take a study to discover something this obvious, but it's nice to see it confirmed scientifically. :)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The entrepreneur is an explorer, while the manager is a general tasked to occupy a piece of land.

    • by fermion ( 181285 ) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @05:10PM (#42576825) Homepage Journal
      Yes, some of use have known for years that selective sampling will lead to incorrect conclusions. For instance, we tend to hear about the entrepreneurs who are successful, and the top managers who fail.

      Think about what is new. Not when a dog bytes a person, but when a person bytes a dog. A manager has been vetted, so this person has a bunch of failures and succeses behind, presumably with more succeses, so the failures are news. However, an entrepreneur likely has no track record, or failures, so success is news. For instance we have a local retailer who has a successful business. Prior to this, however, he had a string of failure. Even late in his career he took chances which failed.

      The point here is that in any pursuit, failing is not problem if you know how to fail, and your are resilient enough not give up and try again. The damage occurs when one believes that failure is not necessary in the process, or that certain people are more prone to failure than others. This is what leads to people just giving up. Which is what to a lot of entrepreneurs, while managers will persevere. And build up failures. Which is ok.

  • So an accountant hand-picked a dozen "entrepreneurs", and decided that the squiggly MRI images are better than the other hand-picked "managers"?

    • You probably didn't read the article... You should be an informed skeptic, not an ignorant skeptic. Being skeptical and ignorant is silly.

      • by dorpus ( 636554 )

        Yes, the original article was written by 4 authors, 3 of which were business professors (including the lead author). This represents "interdisciplinary" New Age research at its worst.

  • Perhaps managers need to be more focused to get their job done.

    And let's not turn this into an argument about which style of thinking is superior. A thing is superior to another only give a particular goal and context. Some forms of thinking best in one context are deadly in another.

    The key to a successful organization is making sure each kind of thinking finds appropriate application in a proper context and that they ultimately work together.

  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @01:14PM (#42575241)

    News to me. Managers today are bean-counters, controllers, MBAs. They cannot even lead, how would they ever innovate or have any kind of "vision"?

    • by Pulzar ( 81031 )

      Managers today are bean-counters, controllers, MBAs.

      Maybe they are where you work. There are plenty of companies where that's not true, likely most of the ones with less than 5,000 employees.

    • by garcia ( 6573 )

      I think, depending on the culture of the company in which you work, this is changing rapidly. Out are the static MBA types and in are the knowledgeable leaders who can really drive great decision-making and develop resources.

      I have worked for both organizations and seen the damage the "MBA model" (over-generalized but we'll leave it that way for simplicity's sake) has done. I currently work for an organization which turns that model on its head and makes work exciting and interesting rather than stagnant.

    • The question is, why should they? At least in the industry I'm in, managers are not there to have vision or innovate. That's the role that sales fulfills, and executive leadership. Managers are there to ensure that the innovation is feasible (is the "vision" even possible to do in reality?) and profitable. Compensation goes down that same path. The sales force and executive teams take the role of entrepreneurs, and get the biggest rewards. Managers are there to steer the ship, not chart the course. The rew
  • If you are an entrepreneur and you are not creative ... well you are out of a job FAST. Infact, most entrepeneurs are out of a job fast regardless. You only hear or study about the few successful ones.

    A manager is not being paid to be creative. He or she is being paid to babbysit and attend meetings all day. Ok, I am being bashful here, maybe there a few good managers, but not from what I seen. There is a reason why managers get paid less then successful entrepeneurs by a large amount of money. Their abilit

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Most entrepreneurs sink without trace.

    • If you are developing your first project and it flops, you're toast. If you are developing your tenth project and it flops, the other nine products will probably keep your company running regardless.

  • Less meetings.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Fewer meetings.

  • not surprising (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    In my experience (30 years of R&D/start-ups), it is frequently the case that the entrepreneur is a
    technical designer, engineer, sw developer, researcher, etc., while the manager is not. It is not
    surprising that the former more frequently innovates than the latter.

    In a surprising number of cases, the manager is where s/he is because they were a poor innovator
    and rose up into management, while the successful innovator stuck to what they were good at.
    I have known some fantastic managers who were also awes

  • Wait, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xugumad ( 39311 ) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @01:24PM (#42575351)

    I don't even understand the question.

    Why would managers be innovative? You might as well ask why managers aren't great chefs; that's not what they do.

    This sounds to me a little like some of the management worship that's going on these days, where those who work in management presume they're doing an inherently harder job, or simply that they're more skilled than non-management. So far I see little evidence to suggest management is inherently more difficult than any other mentally-focused skilled job.

    • by kelzer ( 83087 )
      I agree with this. In my 25+ years of experience I've found that managers generally have good people skills which help them to delegate and motivate, good planning skills, good organizational skills, etc. They rarely have great analytical ability or creativity.
      • Re:Wait, what? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Xugumad ( 39311 ) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @01:51PM (#42575541)

        I think it dates back to when intellectual work was a lot rarer, and managers tended to be either the only skilled worker, or amongst the most skilled, and things have not really caught up with the fact that now managers are frequently managing workers who are at least as skilled, but in very different ways.

    • No, now we're dealing with entrepreneur worship, the belief that everything that happens that's awesome anywhere is the result of some entrepreneur trying to make money, and that all entrepreneurs are successful. The particular image that's making the business press go gaga is that of the college student who drops out of school to start a business and makes a ton of cash due to hard work and a great idea.

      Of course, what actually happens is that a very tiny minority of entrepreneurs are ridiculously successf

      • and the vast majority are complete and utter failures.

        I would add to this, though - they may have failed, but they likely learned something that will permanently increase their value to society. And, because of that, permanently increase their income.

        I strongly recommend that all college students try to start a business. Yes, you will likely fail - but you will be exposed to thing that will change your perspective forever.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I wonder what proportion of those stories do not begin with a character that already has money to use as capital.

  • Managers manage. They are hired to manage a company/group/project, not to create a new company/group/project. Also if someone calls themselves a manager, they are psychologically predisposing themselves to managing, not creating.
    While the word Entrepreneurs evokes creating and innovating.

    In the same way if you hired a Software Engineer you will get different results on the same tasks as if you hired a Programmer. Both because different people will apply and you will likely will have a differently worked lis

  • This is a trick question, right?
  • Having seen creative managers, and logical managers, I'd take the logical ones any day. For an entrepreneur (or otherwise leader) you expect them to come up with a bold vision and creativity.

    IMHO a good manager shouldn't do those things too much and rather use those skills from their team and organization. Not because a manager can't, but because if he gets involved with his own ideas too much, it clouds judgement.

  • Simple as that. Managers manage. Entrepreneurs are leaders. They lead. When you manage something, you basically want things as they are. When you lead, you want things as YOU like them to be.

    Managers are often lousy leaders and leaders are often lousy managers.

    Exceptions do exist.

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      Right. But this won't go down well at organizations with hierarchical, top down management styles. Managers must lead. If you have someone down lower on the company org chart, their job is to shut up and follow orders.

      I found it particularly disturbing that the photo caption reads "New MIT research may explain why you need to work Saturday?" Typical management thinking. We'll just mandate overtime and get 20% more innovation out of the grunts.

  • by gestalt_n_pepper ( 991155 ) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @01:56PM (#42575561)

    In a large corporation, perfectly daft decisions get made daily as managers try and jockey for position and cover their asses. Actual innovative work comes fourth or fifth level down in priority, and is only done when absolutely necessary with a mandate from above.

    And so, IT resources are scattered across the globe, rather than in the building. Purchasing $100.01 worth of cables goes through a three week approval process. Mission critical departments and server assets are suddenly "orphaned" with no single point of authority. Witless HR drones write job requirements that ask for "5 years experience in Windows 8 App programming." The managers who implement these changes get their bonus for cost savings, and then are gone in a year, never having to live with the consequences.

    So what's the point in having a good idea, or being innovative in those circumstances when anything that doesn't server the political purposes of a manager gets quashed even before it's started?

    An entrepreneur, in contrast, tells the IT person to go down to Best Buy and pick up the cables and give the bill to accounting and let them sort it out, the servers are attended to. Employees are selected for real skills by people who can reason and think and bonuses get linked to real improvements and productivity, not just what can be described in a bean counter's spreadsheet. The entrepreneur has to really perform. All a manager has to do is stay in place.

    • The best secretaries and exec assistants are not employed to help a manager do their job-- and their job as parent stated, is NOT to innovate or make waves but to climb the corporate ladder - and naturally, proper procedures must be followed because their jobs have largely turned into enforcers of foolish policy bloat. If you've seen top secretaries and exec assistants at work you should realize they do a bulk of the actual work.

      Also, Execs can more easily take credit for the work and ideas of others than

  • A manager does not have to innovate very often - a so-called "cash cow product" may do fine in the market, and remain a profitable sell for years, without anything substantial being changed about the product. If and when something needs to be changed - when the product is about to enter the decline phase of its lifecycle - there are people you can hire with cash, whose job it is to figure out any changes/improvements to the product. The manager will not do this work personally - he/she will delegate the tas
  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @02:01PM (#42575611)
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
  • It is the article and the post that says that entrepreneurs innovate better. They are referencing "common knowledge". Based on later quotes in the article the research does not appear to make any such claim. The research just seems to be that they are creating more emotionally. Whether this is an advantage in anyway is an open question. Certainly you can hardly be impressed by innovation of the "snuggie". It is possible that thinking emotionally and artistically might allow an entrepreneur to think further

  • by kmitchner ( 2765231 ) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @02:27PM (#42575787)
    I consider myself to be an innovative manager. I have great ideas and those ideas have a lot of times in the past made the companies I've worked for a ton of money. This happens all the time and I don't think you understand the real problem. The problem isn't that managers aren't innovative, it's that managers don't get anything for their innovations. As an innovative manager I run into a lot of obstacles in my career. First and foremost I have never received even close to 1% of the profits from any invention I have ever came up with for an employer. At my last job all I did was come up with new ideas to make the company money. I have made companies millions of dollars in profits with my ideas. I have implemented ideas that have saved hundreds of thousands per month in running costs. Afterwards I did not get a single raise, bonus or sometimes even acknowledgement of that extra income. It was my job, they were already paying me for it. As a sub 6 figure "senior" employee I feel a huge push to not mention my ideas to my employers. If the idea costs money to implement, it usually gets shut down before they even think about it, because most people aren't willing to put their own money on the line for a risky idea they didn't come up with. When it only costs a little money, or even a free of cost change in procedures that could cut costs by dramatic amounts, employees are usually thanked and forgotten, if they are even thanked. Decades ago if an employee came up with a method to save a company $300,000 a month that employee would be pushed to the top of a company and probably even made a junior partner and queried for new ideas, not today. So what do innovative managers do now? We look carefully at our non-compete agreements and we focus our innovative brains in a direction that does not conflict with it. We do our job as well as we can, but the second we leave the building our brains are thinking about our own inventions, our own companies and how we can get them funded. And once we get the cash to start something, we leave, we become entrepreneurs and we break the logic of this topic. The only difference between an "Entrepreneur" and a "Manager" is that the entrepreneur quit his day job as a manager to focus on his own idea. So what do I do now? Well
    • by Anonymous Coward

      You should consider this recent innovation called a paragraph break.

    • by CAIMLAS ( 41445 )

      Maybe you should manage to innovate paragraphs next time, then.

  • ... entrepreneurs have SKIN IN THE GAME.

    That's why.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    entrepreneurs are your vigilante's
    manager's are the police

    one goes out and seeks justice "from their view"
    the other tries follow procedure to the "letter of the law"

    that is, entrepreneurs tend not to give a shit about the ramifications til long after they get the result they want

  • MIT's study is flawed. Entrepreneurs aren't better innovators than managers. Successful entrepreneurs may be better innovators, but not entrepreneurs taken as a whole. Since over half of all small businesses fail, if you include those numbers in the base, then entrepreneurs are not more successful.

    To succeed, you have to first have an idea. Then you have to be able to capitalize on that idea. Unless you are already very successful, most entrepreneurs have to bring in outside capital which means they also gi

  • Has anyone else tried to pull the original source material? I can't find the MIT release, and this paper linked to from the bottom of the networkworld article* doesn't seem to have the information I'm looking for. The skeptic in me wanted to find out 1.) what they chose for 'risk' model behavior - the 4 arm bandit choice between 4 slot machines with different pay out ratios; 2.) how they operationalized risk - 'explorative' behavior was when they chose a different slot machine from the previous trial, and

    • I should qualify I was also unable to find other papers published by Zollo through google.com/scholar that the networkworld post could have sourced.

  • Simple as that. For innovation you have other people.
  • People who tend to be drawn towards risk-taking, who have tremendous focus, and who are excellent self-motivators tend to become entrepreneurs. People who are organized (and good at organizing), who have a talent for seeing things at the macro level, and who are good at sort of assembling and handling lots of moving parts tend to become managers of one kind or another.

    And in reality, successful entrepreneurs are also good at managing people and resources, just as great managers are creative problem-solvers

  • Why Do Entrepreneurs Innovate Better Than Managers?

    Because they are entrepreneurs, not managers, perhaps?

  • by __aaltlg1547 ( 2541114 ) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @06:28PM (#42577281)
    The article mischaracterizes MIT's research. The original paper did not say that entrepreneurs "innovate better." It said that they used more of their brains. To judge whether they "innovate better" you would have to measure OUTCOMES, which the MIT research did not do.
  • Obvious answers. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    1: Superior Motivation. Entrepreneurs either have their reputation at stake, or their livelihoods. Managers have neither.

    2: Training. Managers are trained to avoid risk by laying down and following processes and procedures. Entrepreneurs aren't as good at quantifying the risks associated with any given move, however, most managers, for reason #3, attempt to avoid uncomfortable changes to the status quo once established. That's a fatal flaw, as the lack of maneuverability and aggressiveness can result

  • On the contrary, managers simply have less brain power to actually commit to such things. They're more preoccupied with the trappings of their life - golf, their new Cadillac SUV, where they're going to lunch, football season, more golf - to dedicate much brainpower to things like work.

  • You'll find most entrepreneurs aren't any smarter or more interesting than managers, but you will find a difference in how they go about 'building something'. Entrepreneurs start from the ground-up, while Managers take what's available and move it in the right direction. It's easy to quickly change if you're a new, light weight company, but corporations have a lot of people and paperwork that has to be chewed through first to get to the same place. Of course the Manager will have a job next year, while t
  • Entrepreneurs achieve greater innovation because they take many risks. They fail a great deal of the time, too, so they have to know how to externalize risk or game the system so that risk is not felt as directly. "Screwed up? Write it off and try something else!"

    Managers, on the other hand, are typically *in* the system with genuine and figurative audits coming from up the ladder, their employees, and their colleagues. In management, risk has less reward potential while steady (bearish) gains are better fo

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