Where Einstein Meets Edison

Understanding Equity Splits: Insights from TechStars (Part I)

Understanding Equity Splits: Insights from TechStars (Part I)

Oct 25, 2011

By Carlos Desdema, Audra Bowcutt, Avi Yaar, Tom Rose The equity split in a startup company is often one of the earliest decisions made by a founding team, and is frequently one of the most difficult. There has been a wealth of advice given to entrepreneurs about how to split equity, when to do it, and how to go about doing it. Behind all this advice is the...

Are Entrepreneurs the Source of Economic Crises?

Are Entrepreneurs the Source of Economic Crises?

Sep 14, 2010

Entrepreneurship is often depicted as the solution to society’s problems, the sure path to higher economic growth for nations. Countless journal articles and books have glorified entrepreneurs, turning the Gateses and Zuckerbergs of the world into celebrities and icons. In this concert of praises, casting a critical eye onto entrepreneurship has become a...

Thoughts On Equity Splits

Thoughts On Equity Splits

Jun 23, 2010

Equity split between founding partners has been recently described by Noam Wasserman of Harvard Business School and Thomas Hellmann of the Sauder School of Business as ‘The First Deal’.[1]  Indeed, splitting equity can be an unpleasant process and source of discord within founding teams. In light of important research done by Wasserman and Hellmann...

Entrepreneurship from Technology-Push vs. Market-Pull

Entrepreneurship from Technology-Push vs. Market-Pull

May 25, 2010

Push versus Pull: A Tug-of-War. “Is an entrepreneur with a market need in mind and a product to fit that need better positioned for success than an entrepreneur who starts with a technology but “needs” a need?” Dr. Erika Wagner asks me as we sit in the MIT Entrepreneurship Center. She quickly answers her own question. “I’d argue yes.” Dr. Wagner is...

Exploring the Economic Experiment (II): Hypothesis Testing

Exploring the Economic Experiment (II): Hypothesis Testing

May 11, 2010

Are entrepreneurs scientists of the free market economy, discovering where and how profits can be made? Are entrepreneurs doing the exploration work, running market and technological experiments, while large organizations focus on the exploitation of less risky opportunities? In the first installment of this two-part series, we explored this idea by proposing...

Exploring the Economic Experiment (I): Hypothesis Development

Exploring the Economic Experiment (I): Hypothesis Development

May 10, 2010

Why do societies need entrepreneurs? The question might sound naïve. However, the great Schumpeter himself seems to have doubted. In his early work, the famous economist celebrated the courage associated with the Unternehmergeist(entrepreneurial spirit) that he saw as driving innovation and modernity in nations1. Later on in his career though, as a Harvard...