Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tesla and Digital Media...Two Entrepreneurship Stories from the NY Times

Today’s business section in the NY Times carried several interesting articles on entrepreneurship. Two in particular that caught my eye were All Revved Up, but So Far to Go written by Claire Cain Miller about Elon Musk and his efforts at Tesla Motors. I also liked the article by Brooks Barnes, In Hollywood, Everyone’s a Digital Revolutionary. While the article was focused on the digital entertainment space, it was clear that the lessons learned in digital entertainment really can be applicable to other areas of entrepreneurship as well. For example, take this sentence: “But an awful lot of the companies angling for a piece of the action are long on goals and short on specifics.” That could certainly apply to any start-up business. Or how about this: “Remember, the behind-the-scenes subscription movie site? Oops: it quickly ran into problems with the Screen Actors Guild, which objected that the cast was not getting a cut of the proceeds. To resolve that, it had to start giving free access to the site, upending its business plan.” Business plan’s upended? Can happen anywhere. Or take the last sentence in the article: “Where the market stands today there are more digital opportunities than ever,” he (Brent Weinstein, head of digital media for United Talent Agency) said. “Those that will be successful are the ones who understand the unique aspects of the platform and the audience.” That could be re-written (with apologies to Mr. Weinstein for borrowing his quote) to say that based on where the business world is today, there will be more opportunities than ever. Those entrepreneurs that will be successful are the ones who see the need in the marketplace and can create a unique product/service to fill that need, mindful that it is all about serving the eventual customer.