In this Inc. Magazine article, writer George Gendron explains why kids -- not academics, start-up heads or Silicon Valley engineers -- make the best entrepreneurs.
Gendron, founder and executive director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program at Clark University, was also Inc.'s . editor for 20 years until 2002.
Granted, the column is definitely a major plug for the school and the program. But that aside, the author makes a lot of great points about how "kids" (and by kids he means college students) don't always go by the book and, at least in the entrepreneurial realm, not conforming to whatever is expected actually works to the benefit of the "kid" and the entrepreneurial venture.
The "guiding principle" of the program is a "belief that the entrepreneurial skills we traditionally associate with certain discrete populations--engineers in Silicon Valley, for example--have become vital life skills for everyone in today's globally competitive marketplace and rapidly changing culture."
What this means, he goes on to say, is that entrepreneurs do not need to managers or management experts per se. They need and must have passion, and then couple that passion with what used to be called a "well-rounded" education.
"We offer only a minor in entrepreneurship," he writes, "meaning that my classes are filled with students majoring in literature, studio arts, music, history, international development, biochemistry, and, yes, even psychology."
While encouraging them to follow their passion, they immerse themselves in studying skills "that will dramatically improve the likelihood that they'll be able to create an economically sustainable life around that passion."