The Difference in the Preneurs
Bill defined entrepreneurship as, “going at it—whatever IT might be”. In a sense, it’s creating something that does not already exist (or significantly modifying something that does) and choosing to invest everything you know and have. On the other hand, intrapreneurship is having eyes to see opportunity to grow within a company and taking steps to innovate in that particular area. This might look like introducing a more efficient process to accomplish a task.
Ultimately, the difference between intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs is in the “ask”. Entrepreneurs have to sell the idea to the consumer while intrapreneurs have to sell to both the consumer and the company they work for. According to Bill, the intrapreneur’s primary goals are to “keep the boss happy” and “keep the boat afloat”. His number one piece of advice for students with an intrapreneurial passion is to earn the right to test something new by doing a great job with what you have on your plate right now. For intrapreneurs, the right to innovate comes after demonstrating excellence.
At the end of the day, intrapreneurs still have a steady paycheck while entrepreneurs breathe risk. Though unpredictability should be an expectation for entrepreneurs, there are things founders can do to increase their odds of success. To be effective, entrepreneurs must have strategy while innovating, enough grit to take risks, and the know how to make it all work.
Strategy in Innovating
Entrepreneurs need eyes that see opportunity while also having the propensity that makes it work. Successful innovation doesn’t happen overnight—strategy and planning are a must.
Grit to Take Risks
Launching a company has a lot of risk involved. The entrepreneur invests time, finances, personal capital, etc. all without a guarantee of it being returned.
Know How to Make It Work
Entrepreneurs need to develop a holistic understanding of how all parts of the company run. Upon expansion, this understanding will help them effectively teach others how to do their job. On top of breathing risk, entrepreneurs speak the language of sales fluently. No business can be successful without making a profit.
Interested in learning more? Bill recommended these resources for aspiring intrapreneurs..."
Geoffrey Moore | Crossing the Chasm
Clayton Christianson | The Inventor's Dilemma
Steve Blank | The Startup Owner's Manual
If you’re looking for some ‘preneurial inspiration, check out Marvin Stone (intrapreneur) (@marvinstone) on Twitter, or check out Brian Evans (entrepreneur) on Instagram (@brian_d_evans)
Isaac Pirk is a junior Marketing major at North Central University. As the 2017 Marketing Director on NCU's Enactus board, he has a passion to see others grow and flourish.