This book presents innovation and entrepreneurship as a practice and a discipline. It does not talk of the psychology and the character traits of entrepreneurs; it talks of their actions and behavior. It uses cases, but primarily to exemplify a point, a rule, or a warning, rather than as success stories. The work thus differs, in both intention and execu- tion, from many of the books and articles on innovation and entre- preneurship that are being published today. It shares with them the belief in the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship. Indeed, it considers the emergence of a truly entrepreneurial economy in the United States during the last ten to fifteen years the most significant and hopeful event to have occurred in recent economic and social his- tory. But whereas much of today’s discussion treats entrepreneurship as something slightly mysterious, whether gift, talent, inspiration, or “flash of genius,” this book represents innovation and entrepreneur- ship as purposeful tasks that can be organized—are in need of being organized—and as systematic work. It treats innovation and entre- preneurship, in fact, as part of the executive’s job.
This is a practical book, but it is not a “how-to” book. Instead, it deals with the what, when, and why; with such tangibles as policies and decisions; opportunities and risks; structures and strategies; staffing, compensation, and rewards.
Innovation and entrepreneurship are discussed under three main headings: The Practice of Innovation; The Practice of Entrepreneurship; and Entrepreneurial Strategies. Each of these is an “aspect” of innovation and entrepreneurship rather than a stage.
Part I on the Practice of Innovation presents innovation alike as purposeful and as a discipline. It shows first where and how the entre- preneur searches for innovative opportunities.