willspring55, April 26, 2013
By M Zwilling
Over 25 years ago, Michael E. Gerber wrote a best-selling business book called The E-Myth: Why Most Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It.
The E-Myth (“Entrepreneurial Myth”) is the mistaken belief that most
businesses are started by people with tangible business skills, when in
fact most are started by “technicians” who know nothing about running a
business. Hence most fail.
argue that the E-Myth principle is now out-dated, due to the instant
access to information via the Internet, pervasive networking via social
media, and courses on entrepreneurship at all levels of education.
Perhaps an innate business savvy is no longer a requirement for starting
a successful business.
Let me assure you that in my experience, I’m not convinced. I still
see too many businesses started by technicians who haven’t acquired the
basic skills or knowledge, or still assume that business acumen is a
minor part of the new business equation. I also see no evidence that the
percentage of new business successes has gone up in the last couple of
I believe that most entrepreneurs today, at least in the technology
domains I frequent, still work in the business (“Technician’s
Perspective”), rather than on the business (“Entrepreneurs
Perspective”). Here are some key ways these views differ:
The challenge of every Entrepreneur and Technician is to maintain the
right balance of views to get things done, win in the marketplace, and
keep everyone happy. As startups grow, they quickly realize that they
need a third personality, called the Manager, to build systems and
processes. The Manager craves order, and often ends up cleaning up after
the other two.
Perhaps someday our education system and other resources will
facilitate everyone starting a business to have that balanced view, but I
don’t see it happening any time soon. In the interim, I recommend you
use social media and the Internet to find your alter-ego. Two heads are
still better than one, to get the right business started, and get it
started right, without worrying about the E-Myth.