The one most inevitable characteristic that can be attributed to the majority of entrepreneurs is that, they failed in their schools! They were often kicked out for being inattentive or underperformers. Richard Branson, Ted Turner, Thomas A. Edison – just to name a few.
So there must be something special in them that prevented them from doing well in schools, while they did much better in the outside world. I think their thoughts were much advanced for their time, shifting focus on new things rather than traditional things, for which they could not cope with routine-bound schools that demanded traditional thinking within four walls and a roof.
While their performance in schools could be attributed to their inner nature, the consequence of such underperformance might also have given them a sense of risk of failure in the job market (or they were not worried at all to look for jobs?). These entrepreneurs, being in no way attractive candidates in the job market, were naturally trained to cherish a risk-taking attitude to succeed in life through ventures of their own. This risk taking attitude probably influenced them to experiment with the unknown and to be successful. They would go against the norm, identify an opportunity, and create new rules for competition that only they could play well in the beginning. This is what Joseph Schumpeter called “Creative Destruction” in his famous book titled “Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy”. Apart from the deliberation on political ideology, I would like to pick this inevitable characteristic of an entrepreneur that requires to be creatively destructive.
This refers to nothing but innovation. It emphasizes on creating something new in such a way that deems valuable to customers, and changes the rules of business in such a way as to make others’ efforts outdated. Take the example of CD business creatively destructing cassette tape business, or DVDs creatively destructing the business of CDs. How about the creative destruction of paper based books by ebooks that can be purchased and read online, or in an ebook reader like Kindle or Nook? This creative destruction will keep on going, and entrepreneurs would be there to destruct even more creatively to outdate the competition.