“The issue of linking the character traits of an individual to the success of a business – picking winners – needs to be approached with caution.”
Burns P (2011,pg 34) Entrepreneurship & Small Business, Palgrave Macmillan 3rd edition
- Select an ‘entrepreneur’ and analyse their entrepreneurial journey, from the conception of the initial idea through to start-up & growth’.
- Discuss, with examples, whether or not your analysis supports Burns assertion.
- Based on your analysis, what do you personally conclude about creating a successful new venture and entrepreneurial success?
Entrepreneurs play an important role in achieving success in respect to an organisation. An analysis of an entrepreneur indicates that he/she is a person that is responsible for the initiation of a new business idea or concept with a view to leverage the market opportunities as available. They are therefore known as founder of a business and with their own individual abilities and skills, they takes the business to a significantly higher level of growth and success (Svendsen, 1998). There are several entrepreneurs in the world history, but for the purpose of analysis in this report, the specific entrepreneur as selected is Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs is known as the founder of Apple Corporation which has been the most innovative company in the electronic industry (Dlabay, Burrow and Kleind, 2011).
This report is therefore aimed at analysing the entrepreneurial journey of Steve Jobs beginning from the conception of new idea through to the start-up and growth. The analysis also indicates about the support of Burns assertion, and based on the entire analysis, my personal conclusion in creating a successful new venture and entrepreneurial success would be assessed.
Entrepreneurial Journey of Steve Jobs
As the entrepreneur as selected for analysis is Steve Jobs, an assessment of Steve Jobs profile of entrepreneurship is essential. Steve Jobs has been the great entrepreneur of his time and he is most popularly known as the founder of Apple Corporation. A biographical analysis of Steve Jobs indicates that Steve Jobs was born on February 24, 1955 in San Francisco, and he studied at Cupertino Junior High and at Homestead High Schools in California. Steve Jobs has interest in the technology during his early years and he has attended significant number of after school lectures at the Hewlett-Packard Company. The initial indication of entrepreneurship was evident in respect to Steve Jobs when in 1972 he joined at Reed College and the next year, he has joined calligraphy. However, an analysis of the educational background of Steve Jobs indicates that it was not convincing, as he was dropped out after attending a semester at Reed College (Kumar, 2011).
This has resulted into the beginning of his entrepreneurship career whereby Steve Jobs in 1974 has joined Atari which has been a video game making company. However, within a period of two years, he has become the founder of a company known as Apple whereby he and Steve Wozniak formed Apple Computer in 1976. The firm’s major innovation as introduced by them is mainly the Apple Computer and followed by this is the launch of Apple Computer II which has been the first computer that has generated colour graphics. The development of such Apple Company was the conception of initial idea by Steve Jobs. This was the beginning of a new era in the computing industry, and there were severe level of introduction of newer innovation and products in the computing industry being performed by Steve Jobs. On January 24, 1984, Macintosh was introduced by Steve Jobs for the first time in the market, and this has been placed in the market for sale commercially for the first time (Elliot, 2012).
However, clashes with John Sculley have resulted into Jobs quitting the Apple Corporation. Steve Jobs then founded NeXT Computer in 1985 and in 1986, Jobs bought the Graphics Group which he named as Pixar. Till 1993, Jobs was accounted for selling more than 50000 NeXT machines. However, Apple was facing significant losses by that time and in 1933, it was identified that Apple lost around $188 million. The company failed to compete with IBM and other such computer selling companies and this has resulted into the resignation of John Sculley. As a result, in 1996, Apple has purchased NeXT and Steve Jobs was appointed as advisor in the company. Within a period of 2 years, Jobs was awarded the position of CEO and since that, a loss making company has started making profits. This show the entrepreneurship abilities of Steve Jobs whereby his efforts have revolutionised a loss making company into a profit making company (Kumar, 2011).
By 2000, iMac computers as introduced by Steve Jobs have been highly successful, and thereafter, the career of Steve Jobs is marked with sufficient level of introduction of innovative products. As for example, in 2001, Steve Jobs was known for introducing iPod and releases iTunes software. The financial year 2003 witnessed the launch of iTunes Music Store, and the year 2007 saw the introduction of first iPhone. During this period, Steve Jobs suffered from pancreatic cancer and he was diagnosed but his health conditions deterred further. By 2010, Apple was known for selling over 15 million iPads, and as on March 2011, there were 108 million iPhones that have been sold worldwide. Steve Job during his career has made the introduction of many innovative products including iPads, Apple laptops i.e. iMac, and there has been a series of iPhones being introduced with upgrade version to offer something innovative to the buyers. However, in 2011, he suffered from health conditions, and he died in the same year (Kumar, 2011).
Overall, the analysis above indicated the journey of a highly successful entrepreneur. The entrepreneurship abilities of Steve Jobs have resulted into the development of such an innovative company known as Apple Corporation. Hickman (2005) indicates that successful entrepreneur posses certain special characteristics such as creativity, ability to innovate, imagination and inventiveness. An analysis of the entrepreneurial journey of Steve Jobs indicated that these key characteristics are possessed by him which enabled him in introducing such highly innovative products. Inventiveness ideas are identified as cornerstone by Brown (2009) in becoming a successful entrepreneur, and the career of Steve Jobs is the best example of such inventiveness as he has introduced large number of inventions during his entrepreneurial career that led Apple being recognised as highly innovative company. As suggested by Richardson (2007), most of the entrepreneur takes time and effort in becoming successful entrepreneur, and they do series of inventions in leading organisations to success. The entrepreneurial abilities of Steve Jobs also reflected the same which become the potential factor behind his success entrepreneurial career (DeGeeter, 2004).
Analysis Supporting Burns Assertion
An analysis of Burns assertion indicates that “The issue of linking the character traits of an individual to the success of a business – picking winners – needs to be approached with caution.” (Burns, 2010). This assertion by Burns suggests that the success or failure of businesses depends on a mix of many things, and the character trait of manager has become a most significant factor. It is essential that the character trait of individual should be linked with the business success, and it should be considered with higher level of caution. An analysis of the case of Steve Jobs as performed above indicates that this particular assertion by Burns has been positively supported in his case. This is mainly because the personal trait of Steve Jobs indicated that he was highly innovative and creative, and these specific factors are required for a business like Apple to efficiently succeed and outperform its competitors. Another major example of such higher importance of trait in becoming a successful entrepreneur in the above case of Apple is that John Sculley who was allowed to manage Apple Corporation was not able to successfully lead the organisation. However, the same organisation under the leadership of Steve Jobs was able to achieve higher success level and become one of the most dominant companies in the electronic industry. This suggests that the role and importance of entrepreneurial abilities is crucial, and it is essential to pick winners in order to ensure the positive attainment of success in the business (Covin and Slevin, 1991).
Personal Conclusion on Creating a Successful Venture and Entrepreneurial Success
On the basis of entire analysis as carried out regarding the entrepreneurial abilities of Steve Jobs, my personal conclusion in creating a successful venture is that the entrepreneur must possess certain extra features which distinguish him/her from others. The ability to lead the organisation and bringing newer ideas, supporting them positively, taking higher level of risks etc are crucial attributes that must be applied by the entrepreneur in leading an organisation to higher success levels. It is highly difficult to perform the creation of a successful venture, and in this regard, the entrepreneur needs to be extra ordinary and make use of his/her abilities in revolutionising the industry as did by Steve Jobs. Thus, successful entrepreneurs are different from others, and they have the potential of leading the organisation to higher success levels.
In this report, a critical analysis has been carried out with respect to the entrepreneurial abilities of Steve Jobs. The initial beginning of his career has been assessed critically which showed a series of introduction of newer products and services by the company. The character trait of Steve Jobs has been highly significant and they became the determining factors for the growth and success of the entire company. On the basis of analysis, it has been evaluated that the assertion of Burns is positively supported by the entrepreneurial abilities of Steve Jobs, and my personal conclusion also reflected that a successful entrepreneur has ability to innovate and succeed in their life.
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Elliot, J. (2012). Leading Apple With Steve Jobs: Management Lessons From a Controversial Genius. John Wiley & Sons.
Hickman, R. (2005). Why we make art and why it is taught. Intellect Books.
Kumar, M. (2011). Steve Jobs, The Life Journey [Online]. Available at: https://www.successstories.co.in/steve-jobs-the-life-journey/ [Accessed: 20 March 2015].
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