Musings And Dialogue On Entrepreneurs And Decision Making (Part 3)

The following backdrop and questions apply to this part of the series of musings and open discussion on entrepreneurs and decision-making (Part 1 here and Part 2 here. Note that there will likely be a total of six parts for this series with a recap summary at the end.):

Some researchers talk about humans trading off exploration (testing the environment) against exploitation (using resources once they’re identified). For example, see link about small children’s learning behavior here. Do you think entrepreneurs are more focused on exploration or on exploitation? How does this compare to other jobs?

My off-the-cuff thinking on these questions are that, entrepreneurs tend to be stronger than other workers in terms of exploration mainly because exploratory skills align with the creativity skills that entrepreneurs often have. Whether entrepreneurs focus on exploration versus exploitation, however, has to do more with what type of business is being pursued than something specific to the entrepreneur's disposition or decision-making style relative to non-entrepreneurs. For example, if the entrepreneurial business is something relatively unexplored (e.g., introducing a household device that can interface with your computer for printing paper that can be folded into edible food), then the entrepreneur needs to tap into exploration skills. On the other, an entrepreneurial business that is a copycat business (e.g., introducing a lowest-cost mobile phone provider in a new geography like Canada), well then the entrepreneur needs to focus more on exploitation (with potentially small customizations or market studies in the local market).

What are your thoughts and experiences?


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