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Entrepreneurship

Introduction

EntrepreneurshipIntroduction
  1. Preface
  2. 1 The Entrepreneurial Perspective
    1. Introduction
    2. 1.1 Entrepreneurship Today
    3. 1.2 Entrepreneurial Vision and Goals
    4. 1.3 The Entrepreneurial Mindset
    5. Key Terms
    6. Summary
    7. Review Questions
    8. Discussion Questions
    9. Case Questions
    10. Suggested Resources
  3. 2 The Entrepreneurial Journey and Pathways
    1. Introduction
    2. 2.1 Overview of the Entrepreneurial Journey
    3. 2.2 The Process of Becoming an Entrepreneur
    4. 2.3 Entrepreneurial Pathways
    5. 2.4 Frameworks to Inform Your Entrepreneurial Path
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. Review Questions
    9. Discussion Questions
    10. Case Questions
    11. Suggested Resources
  4. 3 The Ethical and Social Responsibilities of Entrepreneurs
    1. Introduction
    2. 3.1 Ethical and Legal Issues in Entrepreneurship
    3. 3.2 Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Entrepreneurship
    4. 3.3 Developing a Workplace Culture of Ethical Excellence and Accountability
    5. Key Terms
    6. Summary
    7. Review Questions
    8. Discussion Questions
    9. Case Questions
    10. Suggested Resources
  5. 4 Creativity, Innovation, and Invention
    1. Introduction
    2. 4.1 Tools for Creativity and Innovation
    3. 4.2 Creativity, Innovation, and Invention: How They Differ
    4. 4.3 Developing Ideas, Innovations, and Inventions
    5. Key Terms
    6. Summary
    7. Review Questions
    8. Discussion Questions
    9. Case Questions
    10. Suggested Resources
  6. 5 Identifying Entrepreneurial Opportunity
    1. Introduction
    2. 5.1 Entrepreneurial Opportunity
    3. 5.2 Researching Potential Business Opportunities
    4. 5.3 Competitive Analysis
    5. Key Terms
    6. Summary
    7. Review Questions
    8. Discussion Questions
    9. Case Questions
    10. Suggested Resources
  7. 6 Problem Solving and Need Recognition Techniques
    1. Introduction
    2. 6.1 Problem Solving to Find Entrepreneurial Solutions
    3. 6.2 Creative Problem-Solving Process
    4. 6.3 Design Thinking
    5. 6.4 Lean Processes
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. Review Questions
    9. Discussion Questions
    10. Case Questions
    11. Suggested Resources
  8. 7 Telling Your Entrepreneurial Story and Pitching the Idea
    1. Introduction
    2. 7.1 Clarifying Your Vision, Mission, and Goals
    3. 7.2 Sharing Your Entrepreneurial Story
    4. 7.3 Developing Pitches for Various Audiences and Goals
    5. 7.4 Protecting Your Idea and Polishing the Pitch through Feedback
    6. 7.5 Reality Check: Contests and Competitions
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Review Questions
    10. Discussion Questions
    11. Case Questions
    12. Suggested Resources
  9. 8 Entrepreneurial Marketing and Sales
    1. Introduction
    2. 8.1 Entrepreneurial Marketing and the Marketing Mix
    3. 8.2 Market Research, Market Opportunity Recognition, and Target Market
    4. 8.3 Marketing Techniques and Tools for Entrepreneurs
    5. 8.4 Entrepreneurial Branding
    6. 8.5 Marketing Strategy and the Marketing Plan
    7. 8.6 Sales and Customer Service
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary
    10. Review Questions
    11. Discussion Questions
    12. Case Questions
    13. Suggested Resources
  10. 9 Entrepreneurial Finance and Accounting
    1. Introduction
    2. 9.1 Overview of Entrepreneurial Finance and Accounting Strategies
    3. 9.2 Special Funding Strategies
    4. 9.3 Accounting Basics for Entrepreneurs
    5. 9.4 Developing Startup Financial Statements and Projections
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. Review Questions
    9. Discussion Questions
    10. Case Questions
    11. Suggested Resources
  11. 10 Launch for Growth to Success
    1. Introduction
    2. 10.1 Launching the Imperfect Business: Lean Startup
    3. 10.2 Why Early Failure Can Lead to Success Later
    4. 10.3 The Challenging Truth about Business Ownership
    5. 10.4 Managing, Following, and Adjusting the Initial Plan
    6. 10.5 Growth: Signs, Pains, and Cautions
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Review Questions
    10. Discussion Questions
    11. Case Questions
    12. Suggested Resources
  12. 11 Business Model and Plan
    1. Introduction
    2. 11.1 Avoiding the “Field of Dreams” Approach
    3. 11.2 Designing the Business Model
    4. 11.3 Conducting a Feasibility Analysis
    5. 11.4 The Business Plan
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. Review Questions
    9. Discussion Questions
    10. Case Questions
    11. Suggested Resources
  13. 12 Building Networks and Foundations
    1. Introduction
    2. 12.1 Building and Connecting to Networks
    3. 12.2 Building the Entrepreneurial Dream Team
    4. 12.3 Designing a Startup Operational Plan
    5. Key Terms
    6. Summary
    7. Review Questions
    8. Discussion Questions
    9. Case Questions
    10. Suggested Resources
  14. 13 Business Structure Options: Legal, Tax, and Risk Issues
    1. Introduction
    2. 13.1 Business Structures: Overview of Legal and Tax Considerations
    3. 13.2 Corporations
    4. 13.3 Partnerships and Joint Ventures
    5. 13.4 Limited Liability Companies
    6. 13.5 Sole Proprietorships
    7. 13.6 Additional Considerations: Capital Acquisition, Business Domicile, and Technology
    8. 13.7 Mitigating and Managing Risks
    9. Key Terms
    10. Summary
    11. Review Questions
    12. Discussion Questions
    13. Case Questions
    14. Suggested Resources
  15. 14 Fundamentals of Resource Planning
    1. Introduction
    2. 14.1 Types of Resources
    3. 14.2 Using the PEST Framework to Assess Resource Needs
    4. 14.3 Managing Resources over the Venture Life Cycle
    5. Key Terms
    6. Summary
    7. Review Questions
    8. Discussion Questions
    9. Case Questions
    10. Suggested Resources
  16. 15 Next Steps
    1. Introduction
    2. 15.1 Launching Your Venture
    3. 15.2 Making Difficult Business Decisions in Response to Challenges
    4. 15.3 Seeking Help or Support
    5. 15.4 Now What? Serving as a Mentor, Consultant, or Champion
    6. 15.5 Reflections: Documenting the Journey
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Review Questions
    10. Discussion Questions
    11. Case Questions
    12. Suggested Resources
  17. A | Suggested Resources
  18. Index
Photo of a cell phone with the Dropbox app open on the screen.
Figure 10.1 Dropbox, founded by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, has realized unprecedented growth, as the company is valued in the billions of dollars. (credit: modification of “Dropbox” by Ian Lamont/Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Dropbox, a company founded in 2007 by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, has revolutionized the way consumers and businesses store and share electronic files. The idea came one day when Houston—on a commuter train—realized he left his thumb drive at home. This was not the first time he had forgotten that tiny electronic filing cabinet, and he was sure others forgot often as well. So he hit on an idea: storing his files on a “cloud” on the Internet that anyone could access from anywhere with any device.1 He wanted to manage file storage at faster speeds and in larger quantities than the few existing online storage systems, through an easy-to-use interface. Although Houston came up with the idea of cloud storage during his commute, cloud computing had been talked about in industry circles a few years prior.2

Hopeful, he introduced his idea to Y Combinator, a venture capital firm in California that helps fund startups by hosting, training, and helping them define their pitches to investors. Even though they had rejected a business idea he’d presented earlier, they told him the new idea was promising and asked him to secure a co-founder before pitching. A co-founder would help to secure funding because it showed the idea had legitimacy, support, and the expertise of another person. Houston quickly found Ferdowsi, a fellow MIT student studying engineering and computer science.3 Together, they raised $1.2 million from investors, even though their prototype wasn’t fully functional. They then hired developers and engineers who created a more functional version that worked across most computer operating systems.

Dropbox was soon using lean startup principles, which meant releasing an early version to early adopters. Houston had a difficult time explaining the product to initial users, so he developed a video with a quirky narration to entice them. The early product release was a hit: In one day, their customer base increased from 5,000 to 75,000 users, who could also provide them with feedback for subsequent versions.

Thanks to its massive success, Dropbox was valued at $10 billion in 2014.4 However, some analysts believed the number was inflated as Dropbox’s competitors started gaining market share. The company continues to receive customer feedback to make the iterations necessary for better versions.

Footnotes

  • 1 Sarah Buhr and Katie Roof. “A Brief History of Dropbox.” TechCrunch. March 6, 2018. https://techcrunch.com/gallery/a-brief-history-of-dropbox/slide/1/
  • 2 Johnson Hur. “History of Online Storage.” BeBusinessEd.com. n.d. https://bebusinessed.com/history/history-of-online-storage/
  • 3 “How I Met My Co-Founder: Drew Houston, Dropbox.” From Finding Your Way as an Entrepreneur. May 30, 2012. https://ecorner.stanford.edu/in-brief/how-i-met-my-co-founder/
  • 4 Eliot Brown and Jay Greene. “Dropbox Files for IPO Three Years after $10 Billion Private Valuation.” The Wall Street Journal. January 11, 2018. https://www.wsj.com/articles/dropbox-files-for-ipo-three-years-after-10-billion-private-valuation-1515708036
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