Scott Shane, Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at Case Western University and author of Illusions of Entrepreneurship: The Costly Myths That Entrepreneurs, Investors and Policy Makers Live By, alerted me to his quiz, which I promptly took.
I scored 50%, while my buddy Guy Kawasaki scored 40%. At least I don’t feel so bad!
It is a good example of promoting a book while educating about its core content in an interesting way. I look forward to reading it for my own book research, as I think illusions abound for the want-to-start-a- business-crowd. Based on my results, I have a few illusions myself!
Check it out here and let me know how you score.
Update later in the day:
VERY interesting follow up guest post by Scott on Guy’s blog which may clear up some questions you had about the quiz: Top Ten Myths of Entrepreneurship.
A very intriguing, slightly deflating point from the interview (the first point in bold is the "myth"):
"Starting a business is easy.
Actually it isn’t, and most people who begin the process of starting a
company fail to get one up and running. Seven years after beginning the
process of starting a business, only one-third of people have a new
company with positive cash flow greater than the salary and expenses of
the owner for more than three consecutive months."
Probably true. Still worth it, I say!
Great comments everyone!
I tend to agree that many of the survey questions would not predetermine if you will be a successful entrepreneur, especially if you are looking to do the freelance or no employee route. I know that I have some GLARING defects as they relate to business success (poor understanding of finance is one), but that has not stopped me from being a successful, happy business owner for over a decade.
I do find the research very helpful to give some empirical evidence to the “starting a business is hard” school or thought, or the “starting a business is easy” school of thought. Neither is totally true …. so much depends on which business you choose to start, what is happening in the economy, how talented you are and a number of other factors.
One good thing about the quiz is that it definitely provoked a good discussion of what IS or IS NOT relevant to successful entrepreneurship. And I imagine that Scott is pleased by that outcome, as much as by sales of his book.
Thanks for playing or NOT playing as some of you have chosen to do!
Geez. I nver thought I’d be glad to get 65% on a quiz! I too found myself wondering “Who cares?” but it never hurts to have an idea of what your odds of success are. Hopefully the book has some advice on what you can do to increase your chances of success.
I’ll go along with Beatrice on this one. I scored 0%, because I stared at these questions, and began to cry. What on earth is the relevance to this being an entrepreneur? With all due respect to Dr. Shane, while these questions might be of value to policy makers, they are of little interest to either investors or to entrepreneurs. In fact, if there were not policy makers interfering with entrepreneurs, perhaps outcomes might look quite different. I’d really like the policy makers to not help me – please don’t I can’ t afford it!
I scored 50%, and I see that I would have scored 40% by simply picking “c” for every question.
But I don’t feel bad, because I don’t see in this quiz any “Costly Myths That Entrepreneurs… Live By.” That is, not one of these points helps me in my business.
Like Sherlock Holmes, I’d rather save my brain cells for facts that are important to my own livelihood.
I scored 34%. That either says I’m dumb…or that none of those statistics apply to me. I’ll take the latter…especially on a Saturday night where I’m pouring my hear and soul into my work instead of pouring a drink at the local bar.
Another thing that, as far as I can tell, doesn’t get taken into account: the person who trods through a series of ventures before settling on a final one that works. I know a woman who started a catering company part-time, built it to the point where she had a hard time managing the work load and shifted into information brokerage.
So — was the catering company a “failure” at all outside of the cold fact that the business closed? It got her feet wet, gave her skills, and financed training for the ultimate self-employment success.
I scored 50%. Great post. Thanks for sharing this fun quiz.
Took the entrepreneurial test.
Got 70%. Read Scott’s follow-up conversation on Guy’s blog.
Very interesting. Very real.
Bottom-line: Entrepreneurship is one of the hardest things you will undertake in your life.
It’s a matter of being strategic and finding a way to push through the odds.
His insight on entrepreneurial successful industries didn’t surprise me.
I’ve been following the Inc. 500 over the last decade-and-a-half and it technological entrepreneurs and office suppliers have always seemed to make it on top.
Thanks for sharing such a fun post!
I practiced strategic quitting and bailed out after the 5th question when it became apparent that the point would be: entrepreneurship isn’t necessarily unfolding in the way you would expect – especially when you present carefully chosen statistics.
I’d rather spend the time reading your next post. And away I go….
I guessed my way through and still got 45%.
What were the myths?
Do start up entrepreneurs really look at those odds and data when deciding to get started – or more at the potentials in the environment they’ll be pitching in?
It didn’t seem to be a useful quizz for alerting to hazardous mindsets or getting one to ponder.
I agree with the poster who commented on the US-centric approach.
I got 40% too, but I had to admit that I got lucky on some of the answers, and one of them was about entrepreneurship in Peru.
Being Peru my home country I was aware of its high percentage of entrepreneurs. Most Peruvians are fed up with a system that does not provide enough jobs or opportunities, and become under-the-radar entrepreneurs.
There is an excellent book on the subject, written by economist Hernando de Soto, called “The Other Path”. It was written about 20 years ago and it describes in great detail the growth of underground entrepreneurship in Peru.
I got 55%. Was pretty impressed with myself. But the ration of black to white owned businesses blew me away. Wow!
sorry, but I fail to see the use of the information presented.
It reminds me of a saying that a bumblebee based on its aerodynamic qualities shouldn’t be able to fly….thankfully the bumblebee isn’t aware of that fact…
here is to the ‘bumblebee enterpreneurs’ defying all stats
I got 25%. Not sure that knowledge of those facts helps one start, but the trend I saw was that businesses are more likely to succeed than I was led to believe, and with less capital. Also pleased with the high number of home-based businesses.
I scored poorly! I agree with the comment that the quiz is U.S. centric. It also points up something that’s always bugged me. I find that it’s very hard to tease out applicable information about an “entrepreneur” category that includes everyone from a psychotherapist in private practice, to a gift basket maker who may sell to just her community or who may become the next Martha Stewart, to a technology entrepreneur hoping to found the next HP or Google. I can’t help but think that some areas of inquiry are completely skewed when all of those people are surveyed with the same question.
I scored 70 percent. I think I would have scored higher, but I second-guessed myself a couple of times where I shouldn’t have.
I scored 50%. It is cool to say that I beat Mr. Kawasaki’s score though. I think I’d consider him a successful entrepreneur, even if he only got 8 questions correct.
What do any of those stats have to do with running a business/startup today?!? Does it really matter which country has the highest rate of new business creation per capita? I’m not going to buy the book to find out.
I tried it but it was so USA centric that I gave up. It highlights to me that some authors do not understand the global reach of blogs
That is great to keep in mind Grant, I didn’t think of it when I took it myself.
Must be in a U.S.-centric mood!
I also got a forty percent, but I missed the last 3 questions due to being in a hurry 🙂
I guess I found out I am not the average start-up…