Entrepreneurship is about changing the world
If you’re an entrepreneur, you seek change. All entrepreneurs set out to solve a problem, that is their purpose.
They create jobs, drive innovation, they empower their employees to develop their skills and abilities. They bring new ideas, products and employ other people to create a healthy standard of living. Given the right environment, an entrepreneur can blossom into a key member of society and improve the lives of others and possibly inspire them to create their own business.
Many brands and big companies give back to the communities in which they thrive through corporate social responsibilities such as corporate philanthropy, community volunteering or socially-responsible business practices.
Observation + solution + vision
The entrepreneur is observing a real need or problem, creating the solution to solve this problem and imagining a changed world for the better.
He or she is born with or develop a special set of skills and abilities: perseverance and passion for long-term goals, courage, risk taking, shaping the future while encouraging diversity.
The entrepreneur’s passion is the engine pushing him through challenges, setbacks and struggles to achieve his purpose and to change the world according to his vision.
Here are 8 examples of entrepreneurs who brought change and shaped the world according to their vision.
Electric Light for Everyone
Thomas Edison is one of the most prominent entrepreneurs of his time.
He was a prolific inventor holding 1093 US patents in his name, as well as patents in other countries. He invented the electric light bulb and founded the Edison Electric Light Company which later became General Electric Company (GE).
We will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles.
Fordism – The revolution of the American worker
Henry Ford developed and manufactured the first automobile for the middle-class American.
His Model T had a profound impact on the 20th century landscape. To draw attention to his new affordable automobile, Ford turned to publicity and managed to ensure every newspaper in Detroit carried stories and ads about Model T. Ford’s network of local dealers made the car ubiquitous in almost every city in North America.
His posterity invented a word for his business model – Fordism. Fordism is the mass production of inexpensive goods coupled with high wages for workers. He was the first to raise his workers’ wages to $5 and introduced the five-day workweek.
It is high time to rid ourselves of the notion that leisure for workmen is either ‘lost time’ or a class privilege.
The mobile phone
While working at Motorola in the 1970s, Martin Cooper invented the first handheld cellular mobile phone and led the 10-year process of bringing it to market. His vision for his new mobile phone was
“a personal telephone – something that would represent an individual so you could assign a number; not to a place, not to a desk, not to a home, but to a person.”
When asked about his inspiration for the mobile phone, Cooper said it was Dick Tracy’s wrist radio. He left Motorola in 1983 and co-founded Cellular Business Systems, Inc. (CBSI), which came to dominate the cellular billing industry with 75 percent market share. In 1986, Cooper sold CBSI to Cincinnati Bell (now Convergys) for $23 million.
Empowering Women through Self-employment
McConnell, the founder of Avon, didn’t set out to create a beauty company.
He was a travelling book salesperson, and offered beauty products as a benefit. He soon realised his customers, mostly women were more interested in the free perfume samples than the books, and that many of them stayed at home while their husbands went off to work.
McConnell saw a business opportunity. He mixed the company’s first fragrances himself, recruited a team of women to be Sales Representatives and debuted a new business model. His idea was successful: women loved his products, loved networking with other women and even more so, they loved the extra income they were earning.
This was just the start of Avon’s 130 history of empowering women around the globe. Being an Avon Representative helped women control their finances, and ultimately, their destinies. Seeing that the latest statistics show women dominate in direct selling, these values are very much alive and true today.
The Digital Revolution – The World Wide Web
In 1980, Tim Berners-Lee was working as an independent contractor at CERN.
At the time, CERN was the largest internet node in Europe. To facilitate sharing and updating information among researchers, Berners-Lee proposed a project based on the concept of hypertext. With the help of other fellow researcher, he built a prototype system named Enquire. He used similar ideas to those underlying the Enquire system to create the World Wide Web, for which he designed and built the first web browser and editor (called WorldWideWeb and developed on NeXTSTEP) and the first Web server called httpd (short for HyperText Transfer Protocol daemon).
In 2004, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth for his “services to the global development of the Internet”.
I just had to take the hypertext idea and connect it to the TCP and DNS ideas and — ta-da! — the World Wide Web.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee
The Democratisation of Information
There were other search engines helping people find information on the internet, but Google managed to outperform them and transform the world.
The verb to google was added to the Oxford English Dictionary and the business environment is fighting an ongoing battle for ranking on page one.
The giant company has gone far beyond its core service of returning results to individual queries, developing 23 additional services and products ranging from work and productivity to language translation, mapping and navigation, cloud storage and virtual assistants.
We are not really interested in search. We are making an Artificial Intelligence.
AI is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. These processes include learning (the acquisition of information and rules for using the information), reasoning (using rules to reach approximate or definite conclusions) and self-correction. Particular applications of AI include expert systems, speech recognition and machine vision.
AI is influencing various industries for the better such as healthcare, finance, business, education, law, manufacturing.
Google is one of the companies using AI through Google Brain and Google DeepMind. Google’s vision is ‘to conduct research that advances the state-of-the-art in the field, applying AI to products and to new domains, and developing tools to ensure that everyone can access AI.’
Here are a few examples of how Google is using AI: forecasting earthquake aftershock locations, predicting cardiovascular risk factors, identifying exoplanets and so on.
Sustainable and Clean energy
If Henry Ford revolutionized the American society, Tesla is changing not one society, but the world.
Tesla’s vision is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy with electric cars, solar panels and integrated renewable energy solutions for homes, businesses and utilities.
Tesla was founded in 2003 by a group of engineers who wanted to prove that people didn’t need to compromise to drive electric – that electric vehicles can be better, quicker and more fun to drive than gasoline cars. Today, Tesla builds not only all-electric vehicles but also infinitely scalable clean energy generation and storage products. Tesla believes the faster the world stops relying on fossil fuels and moves towards a zero-emission future, the better.
Sources: searchenginehistory.com, ai.google.com, searchenterpriseai.techtarget.com