Those who are willing to bear risks of starting new ventures and have the ability to market his innovation have the potential to become entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship entails several contingency factors that an entrepreneur needs to assess before jumping into any new venture and process the market demands wisely (Drucker, 2014). Founding a company of one’s own is a difficult and daring task indeed. An entrepreneur must be focused in his own job and must push himself and his organization for innovation and improvement bringing about a change and upheaval in the market. He or she has to consider some certain stages that help them to force the existence of their organization in the market successfully carrying out consistent new combinations (Niosi, 2014). Joseph Schumpeter has referred to this process of incessant innovation in product and process mechanism as “creative destruction”. Indeed entrepreneurs require establishing new ways of accomplishing things in business destroying the conventional existing ways of doing business. This report discusses the successful journey of Bob Tinker, the co-founder of MobileIron who have traversed a long way since 2008. The journey of Bob Tinker has been received from one of his confession speech where he explains what motivated him throughout his journey of MobileIron and what responsibility he has felt as a CEO of the organization (mobileiron.com, 2017).
MobileIron is a specific software designed to provide security to users’ handsets and manage the document apps, business apps and other contents in the mobiles related to business (mobileiron.com, 2017). It can be effectively used in both mobiles, tablets, and is most popular in IT department and employees of business organizations. The IT departments hugely download it as it provides them with the information about the device and the state of its security. At present, it has a success record of 297.91M enterprise value, which is exceptional for a company in the market for only eight years (Picker, 2014).
Bob Tinker founded this California based company back in 2007 with two of his co-founders Ajay Mishra and Suresh Batchu (ecorner.stanford.edu, 2017). The company started with nearly 50 employees as Bob Tinker says, and it took a great effort on his part to grow the company from 50 employees to almost 750 who at present work with him. In the initial phase of the company, there were several confusions inside the company, which is bound to happen for any new start-up (Haltiwanger, Hathaway & Miranda, 2014). With 50 people, they felt certain things that had previously worked were not working in their favor anymore. Gradually, when the company grew into 150 people, establishing communication among all was a great challenge as the employees were scattered all over the world. In this stage, their aim was to transform from organic to being organized as a company integrating all its components (Hsiao et al., 2013). At 450 numbers of employees, the cross-team problems became escalated this kind of slowed down the pace of their progress (ecorner.stanford.edu, 2017). The reason when they sought to discover, seemed that with engagement of new members in the company, a new layer of management is added and this is how the old style of working did not go well with these new members. This made Bob rethink his job of CEO; he perceived that with changing circumstances the job of CEO changes too and this becomes the key of survival for the company (ecorner.stanford.edu, 2017).
Strategies followed by MobileIron:
In order to establish a strong foundation for the start-up venture, Bob Tinker and his co-founders had to devise strategies to address the pattern of issues the company is likely to face in its journey. The strategies were essential to develop for the following reasons:
- Planning: The management issue that the company faced initially proves that they had lack of planning to guide their start-up venture.
- Management issues and Financial Access:From the discussion above it is evident that MobileIron had some issues in managing the organization so much so that Bob Tinker had to rethink the operational procedure of his job as CEO. In addition, for any start up organization, it is of a challenge to lay hands on adequate financial access.
- Human Capital:The unhindered progress of a company depends on how efficient human capital with business mindset the company has.
- Leadership issues:Bob Tinker, being the CEO of MobileIron was facing leadership issues for which he felt the need to adapt changes in his CEO job with time.
The fundamental criterion for the company was to devise strategies for survival. According to Bob Tinker, it was very important to determine what things to keep the way they were and what the aspects were that required change. Bob realized that as the company expands, new employees with their experience and opinion get involved in the organization, the job of CEO changes and hence, the CEO himself needs to be changed; Bob terms this business phenomenon as “CEO Success Irony” (ecorner.stanford.edu, 2017). The most essential factor that worked in this context for the MobileIron founder was to adapt learning to sustain the company in the long-term.
Initially, being an enthusiastic entrepreneur, Bob was detail-oriented and liked to be involved in every procedure going in the organization. With the expansion of the company, this became a complicated process for the CEO and that he had to learn to ensure that others work accordingly and perform their jobs. In this context, Bob refers to various aspects of self-awareness ranging from listening to other’s feedback, considering things, continuous learning and adapting the change in the job of CEO (Marvel, 2013). Apart from the strategies, The following organizational cultures too had been the key to MobileIron’s success:
- They involved the customers in the process of their success and the customers had the feeling of being a part of it.
- Intellectual honesty has been one of the principal points, which means celebrating the things good for the company while accepting the poor performance.
- They generated accountability for each other within the organization so that employees treat the company’s money as their own, making the best out of it.
Hence, the success of MobileIron lay in the comprehensive assimilation of all these things in the organizational strategy and that this was how Bob Tinker was able to establish his entrepreneurial venture as one of the prominent ventures in Silicon Valley.
There remain some motivational factors, that drive a person to become an entrepreneur and Bob Tinker has been no exception to that. Undoubtedly, the flexibility that entrepreneurship entailed attracted Bob, the vision he had was possible to be fulfilled only when he would establish a company of his own (ecorner.stanford.edu, 2017). The fact that entrepreneurship involves the chance to make huge amount of financial profit also cannot be denied as a motivator of interest. However, the uniqueness of the vision that he had to establish a mobile security company interested him even more to found MobileIron (Alton, 2015).
The Model of GEM
The study of Global Entrepreneurship Monitor is a vital part of entrepreneurial studies as it connects a series of mention worthy entrepreneurial ventures to a larger model and facilitates research on the topic by providing valuable data (Bergmann, Mueller & Schrettle, 2014). Among the major components of the GEM Framework, the social, economic, political and cultural contexts as well as individual attributes are crucial to entrepreneurship based on which the entrepreneurs develop appropriate policies in order to build an environment where people can easily agree to entrepreneurial behavior. These are integral to the concept of entrepreneurship and with the help of phases of entrepreneurial activities deliver the desired outcome. Now, returning to the chosen entrepreneur for this study, it has to be analyzed whether the way Bob Tinker has successfully commercialized his new developed technology is in compliance with the GEM Framework.
How Bob Tinker Applied Aspects of GEM
According to this model, entrepreneurial success is an output of how an individual perceives an opportunity in business and fathoms its capacity (Bosma, 2013). This is what exactly Bob Tinker discusses about his success how he had to rethink his entrepreneurial style and in that distinct changing environment, how he decided to take his company forward. In the revised framework, the social values and perceptions towards entrepreneurship has been emphasized which deals with how entrepreneurs have viewed it as a good career choice for them. Indeed, Bob Tinker had sufficient passion to take up this career of high risk as is evident from his interview. Apart from this, his individual attributes as his age and geographic location were also advantageous as he started in an early working age when motivational factor and risk taking attitude remain on the top of one’s psychological factor (Lepoutre et al., 2013). Undeniably, it is a fact that venturing with a new and not market proven mobile securing technology was possible for Bob Tinker due to his age and privileged geographic location of Mountain View, California, that has helped to get him necessary resources and make his service product a commercial success. Among the motivational aspects, Bob Tinker had rightly chosen opportunity based venturing than being driven by necessity; he had invested in that particular area which was demand of the contemporary time in the field of mobile technology. However, the most prominent factor in Bob Tinker’s business personality is improvement-driven venturing which he had significantly applied in his job of CEO, that he calls a job of self-awareness with a “breathtaking learning curve”.
Total Early-Stage Entrepreneurial Activity
As an aspect to the entrepreneurial activities of GEM Model, Total Early-Stage Entrepreneurial Activity deserves special mention in the analysis of Bob Tinker’s entrepreneurial motivations and behavior (Bosma, 2013). Started with no revenue and no product the company was more like a whiteboard. In the initial stage, the company started with as minimum as 50 employees on whose job, Bob Tinker intended to have complete control. He did not have a planned working method of CEO and lay his hands on every business task. He lacked in leadership competency too as with increasing number of employees he found the management in mess. This behavior of him definitely does not comply with ideal early-stage entrepreneurial activities and soon Bob Tinker himself realized this too (Sohn & Lee, 2013).
Starting the company with almost no revenue and no product planning, it has been, therefore, entirely the success of the entrepreneur Bob Tinker that MobileIron has touched the position of success after eight years of its journey. The quality of adaptation that Bob exhibited in his career of a CEO has been exemplary to all others and his caliber as an entrepreneur is completely in line with the ideas of innovation and risk-management while establishing his own enterprise.
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