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Entrepreneurs are... lazy?

Thom Ruhe, Director of Entrepreneurship, The Kauffman Foundation

I’ve seen it argued that “laziness” is one of the most essential traits of some successful entrepreneurs because it leads them to innovate.  They don’t complacently accept “the way it’s done,” if they can figure out an easier, faster way to get the same result.  Shawn Fanning revolutionized music by creating Napster because it was easier – period.   Every song you want, with the click of a mouse?  Sure beats dragging your butt out of bed, leaving your dorm room, catching a ride down to the local record store or mass retailer and actually paying for the CD.  That, folks, is an innovation that can lead to efficiency, expediency and – you guessed it – success.

But it begs the question:

Whether it’s laziness, impatience or simply a refusal to accept the status quo - do these entrepreneurs become successful DESPITE their flaws, or BECAUSE of them?

As the recession teeters between decline and recovery, many new would-be entrepreneurs are created with every massive round of corporate layoffs and every graduating class of students that can’t find a job.  Instead of encouraging them to discover what they love to do and follow it, perhaps we should be encouraging them to discover what they HATE to do – and find a better way to do it.

I’ll be interested to see what aspects of the mundane – tasks we accept as they are because “that’s the way it’s always been done” – are pushed further up the evolutionary ladder by some bright, innovative, creative – and yes, maybe lazy – new entrepreneurs.

What do you think – is “laziness as motivator for entrepreneurial spark” a valid theory?  Disagree with me?

Let me know what you think in the comments.

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