Saturday, December 03, 2011

Leo Tolstoy's book Anna Karenina, begins: Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

This is obviously true, and it's the reason that the families shown on TV, in movies and on the stage are unhappy; to write about a happy family is boring.

What occurred to me this week is that just the opposite is true for business starups:  Unsuccessful startups are all alike; every successful startup is successful in it's own way.

One advocate of this is Wayne Rogers, who played Trapper John in the TV series M*A*S*H. A Princeton graduate and now successful business man, he writes in his new book Make Your Own Rules: "The entrepreneurial businessman (as opposed to the corporate businessman) must engage in a creative process, rather than an administrative process. The requirements for this are questioning the constraints of the system instead of blindly obeying them, not being restrained by the straightjacket of conventional experience, and thinking outside the box. The creative process as applied to business must be unencoumbered, and you should approach it by asking not only 'why?' but also, and more important, 'why not?' This leads to solutions that are not obvious or burdened by policy, tradition, and corporate regulation."

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