Technopreneurship - Introduction

 Technopreneurship - The Successful Entrepreneur in the New Economy ( ISBN 0-13-046545-3), first published in the year 2003 by Pearson Education Asia quickly became the text book for tech entrepreneur courses in universities across South East Asia with the author Daniel Mankani giving the meaning to the term of what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur in the high risk New Economy with most of the lessons in the book defined by his own entrepreneurial experience during the highly volatile dot com era, Technopreneurship the successful entrepreneur in the new economy was written at a time after a successful career of as a derivatives broker trader and details the euphoric rise of the dot com era and culminating into the greatest bubble and subsequent collapse of the financial markets in March 2000. The first three key chapters of the book aptly named, The Greed, The (false) hope and the fear documents the stages prior to and post the dot com bust.

Chapter 1. Introduction 
Chapter 2. The Greed
Chapter 3. The (False) Hope
Chapter 4. The Fear

Chapter 5. The Opportunity
Chapter 6. Value Creation
Chapter 7. De-mystifying Technology
Chapter 8. Are you a Technopreneur?

Chapter 9. Planning The First Seed
Chapter 10. The Team
Chapter 11. Writing The Business Plan
Chapter 12. Raising Capital 

Chapter 13. Technopreneur's Mind Traps
Chapter 14. Potential Pitfalls.
Chapter 15. A Role For Society in Technopreneurship Development. 

Appendix Resources

So you want to be a technopreneur? You would not have picked up this book otherwise. It is of course very fashionable to want to be a technopreneur. It does, after all, combine the two drivers of the global economy
- technology and entrepreneurship; thus the term “technopreneur“ describing an entrepreneur who uses cutting-edge technology to develop new business models.

Much has been said and written about technopreneurs. There are now even schools that offer courses in technopreneurship. But what does it mean, being a technopreneur? Why become one? What does a technopreneur do? This chapter will attempt to answer these three basic questions.

What Is A Technopreneur?

Although by the late 1990s the Internet had been around for almost two decades, its uses were mainly limited to e-mail and community chat rooms. Its use in business was almost non-existent. Remember the time when one William Gates did not even think about it?

But by late 1998, technology-savvy entrepreneurs, noticing the Internet's potential, began developing, deploying and delivering services and solutions that have given rise to new business models, revenues, economic growth and now a recession.

Being a technopreneur is not a career or a job, it is a dynamic, always developing culture, practice and religion. A technopreneur is always striving for perfection, trying to reconcile opposites.

A technopreneur is flexibly inflexible. He hast to be flexible so that he can adapt to changing circumstances and recover from setbacks. Yet he needs to have a vision of what he wants to achieve so that he’s not distracted from his goal. The vision is his talisman, giving him hope, comfort and inspiration through hard times; in good times it helps him to remain focused, avoiding the temptations and distractions of success.

He is a visionary who has to be practical. It is pointless having great ideas if they cannot be executed.

He is rational and methodical. He needs these strengths to get things done. Yet he has to be intuitive because the best technological visions come from intuition. 

He is realistic enough to know that most start ups fail and that in all probability he will fail. Yet he is romantic enough to think that he will beat the odds in succeed.

He is a loner by nature but to succeed he has to be part of a team. This is because the pace of technological change and the fickleness of markets are such that the more number of productive and intelligent people working together, the higher the probability of success. He is the leader driving the team towards suspicion. But to succeed he needs to listen to his team members.

He is greedy for success and its rewards. He is after all a performance-oriented individual who wants results. Yet he has to be mindful of the contributions of his team members and they have to make sacrifices to keep winning team.

Finally, even though he is creative, and works with creative people, he is disciplined. He has to manage himself and his team. If he does not, cannot or would not manage himself and his team, he and his team will lose focus, dissipating their energy by duplicating tasks, squabbling and straying down blind alleys.

Why Become One?

Since the late 1990s, thousands of new ventures have been set up every year around the world and venture capitalist have invested millions of dollars into these businesses. A technological vision, an entrepreneurial spirit and the example of others have inspired many to get involved in the high-tech industry as entrepreneurs, investors or advisers.

Of all the areas of the high-tech industry, the Internet was, and is, the most exciting because despite the boom and crash, the Internet is still in its infancy. Many technopreneurs are hoping that their product, service or solution will become the industry standard in their chosen field in the same manner as we have Internet Explorer for web browsing, Amazon for on-line book buying and eBay for Internet auctions.

The risk of failure is very, very high. Venture capitalists know that most of the returns are generated by a few investments. Yet they  and technopreneurs still persist because the rewards are great.

Look at the founders of Microsoft, Amazon and eBay and their backers. Not only are they very, very rich but the world also celebrates and honors their intellectual and creative achievements.

What Does A Technopreneurt Do?

Everything starts from an idea. While others are unable to identify the business or consumer need, the technopreneur begins with figuring out “what if“ this is available or “what if“ there is an easier and more convenient way of delivering the same solution.

And it may not be limited to making a better mousetrap – it may be the marketing and sales of the mousetrap. Symantec and other software vendors have realized that although software development is a one time cost, the same software can be sold many times over. Likewise any product that has a one-time cost, that can be replicated with ease and can be sold en masse, has the potential of reaping huge exponential rewards.

There are many more services, solutions and ideas that will be introduced in the years to come, making life easier, and more convenient or appealing. The key is identifying such needs and offering the solutions.

But the idea is not enough. Even if a product, service or solution is needed or expected to be needed, it is necessary to ensure the technology to make the idea work exists or can be developed at a reasonable cost and within reasonable time. Having come up with what he thinks is a workable idea, a technopreneur than bounces it to friends or associates. After receiving feedback (positive, negative, constructive or otherwise), and deciding that he has a winner, he writes his business plan. This plan covers issues like the need the product or service will fill, product development, marketing, and financing needs.

He then tries to get financing. Most projects fail to get funding but let us assume he gets some money and starts executing the rest of the business plan. Things never go according to plan and he really lives with the probability that he will fail.

But against the odds, through hard work and a little luck, he succeeds. Finally the day arrives when the product development is completed, marketing is underway and revenues are starting to flow in. Does he relax and go fishing?

No. He has to deal with a new set of issues because success has its problems. Decisions have to be made on expanding the business and product enhancements. He has to decide whether he can or should remain independent, or whether he should team up with someone else. If so, with whom and on what terms? And what new features include in the next model?

So do you still want to be a technopreneur?

If the answer is "yes“, read on because the following chapters will cover some prerequisites and opportunities available in today’s marketplace. No amount of theory or book learning will make a person a technopreneur. Either a person is a technopreneur or he is not. But, like a budding entrepreneur, a wannabe or inexperienced technopreneur needs to know how to go about doing things.

The first three chapters cover the greatest boom and bust story in history, a story of greed, hope and fear. These chapters are necessary because they provide information on what went wrong and why. They also cover some of the mistakes made by technopreneurs and the lessons we can learn.

The other chapters cover practical topics like opportunities, de-mystifying technology, writing a business plan and raising capital.

We are now living with the consequences of the frenzy. On the sunny side are the many innovations that have made life or business more fun, enjoyable, convenient or productive like web browsers, Internet publishing, websites, and online book buying and auctions. On the dark side, we have the dislocations caused to businesses, people and the global economy, both by the boom and bust.

Whether for good or evil, this frenzy has change the world and a new set of technopreneurs is beginning to emerge from the debris and carnage. Among them will be tomorrow’s Bill Gates, Larry Ellison or Jeff Bezos.

This book will hopefully provide one of these emerging heroes with a roadmap. You could be that person.

Chapter1 Introduction >>> 

Technopreneurship Development - A Role for Society in Technopreneurship Development, a chapter written in 2002, explains the creative destructive forces at work in practically every aspect of human life and the reasoning for the massive confusion, leading up to revolutions, lack of employment opportunities and governments fiscal deficits. Technology is usually blamed for making the world a smaller place, the writing was on the wall since the late nineties, this chapter refreshes our memories.

Technopreneurship - The Successful Entrepreneur in the New Economy - Daniel Mankani. Published 2003. Pearson Education Asia - All rights, copyright reserved Daniel Mankani { ISBN0-13-046545-3 }

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