Sunday, October 1, 2006


Formal Management Systems Help Startups Succeed Says Award-Winning Paper

Young companies that adopt structured systems to run their operations in their early years grow three times faster than competitors and have a lower rate of CEO turnover, according to an award-winning research paper.

Understand Young Companies in Your Own Backyard, Report Urges Global Leaders

Policy makers need to understand how early-stage companies in their own area work, rather than try to create another Silicon Valley, says Stanford management professor George Foster. He is coauthor of a new report published by the World Economic Forum.

Peers Influence Decision to Become an Entrepreneur

Why do some geographic areas — such as California’s Silicon Valley — produce so many entrepreneurial companies? The answer may be workplace peers. Working with former entrepreneurs makes individuals more likely to start their own businesses, says Professor Jesper Sørensen of the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

10 Ideas For Entrepreneurs Facing Personnel Issues How do you hire, fire, and figure out what to pay the employees of your new startup firm? Irv Grousbeck of the Business School’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies has a list of 10 ideas.

Investor Intuition Is Right: Corporate Leadership and Management Turnover Directly Affect Startup Success Start-up companies with founding and senior management teams sporting greater diversity in experience and functions are more successful more quickly say researchers. It may be consistent with common wisdom, but the authors argue their study helps companies and investors understand just why this is the case.

When (Organizational) Change Hurts: Startups Need to “Think Employees” from the Get-Go A decade-long study of Silicon Valley (California) technology startups finds that companies were three times more likely to fail if at some point they altered the founder’s blueprint for employee relations than if they maintained their original employee model.

Summer Program Offers Grad Students a Mini-MBA The Business School’s new Summer Institute for Entrepreneurship draws on interdisciplinary strengths to give graduate students the basics of management education plus lessons in entrepreneurship and business growth. (October 2006)

Scholars, Practitioners Team Up to Teach Entrepreneurial Topics For a decade tenured professor Charles Holloway has been bringing together scholars and business practitioners to teach a string of classes that have helped MBA students understand what it’s really like to start a business. The scholar-practitioner approach has also stimulated research into issues surrounding entrepreneurship, says Holloway. (September 2006)

Startups Need a Special Learning Curve for Sales Before a young company can sell its product successfully, the entire organization needs to learn how customers will acquire and use the product. This requires a special learning curve for sales and marketing before the product is ready for a major push, say researchers Charles Holloway and Mark Leslie. (September 2006)

Founders of Startups May Develop Itchy Feet Founders of entrepreneurial firms are more likely to leave and start a new business as their companies mature and their own roles become more routine, say researchers. Unlike their bosses, employees are more likely to leave early on and start a company. But if they stick around as their company matures, employees find more opportunities to be creative and thus are less likely to be lured away by an entrepreneurial opportunity. (April 2005)

Smart Startups Don't Wait to Set Up Accounting Systems A new study finds that young companies that acted quickly to institute formal accounting systems, such as operation budgets, cash budgets, and financial monitoring systems, had higher growth rates in terms of revenues and head count than their peers. (February 2005)

Generalists Succeed as Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurs are more likely to be generalists, people who have had a variety of different experience in their work careers and who took the most varied classes while earning their MBA degrees, according to research by Edward Lazear. (February 2005)

VC Funding Signals Growth Strategy Prior research indicates that venture capital funding is the most significant resource for entrepreneurial success-it allows for faster product-to-market turnover and enables a company to "professionalize" management teams quickly. New research by Antonio Davila and George Foster suggests that initially the amount is less important than the fact that venture funds were invested at all. (May 2002)

Entrepreneurs Arise from the Ranks of Jacks-of-All-Trades Using data from a major survey of Stanford Business School MBA graduates, Professor Edward Lazear concludes entrepreneurs are jacks-of-all-trades with well rounded experience, not specialists. (April 2002)

Founders’ Values Help Shape Gender Mix in High Tech A six-year study of high-tech startups in Silicon Valley identifies factors that can predict how hospitable firms are to women and challenges the common assumption that access for women is uniformly low across technology firms. (May 2001)