Ten Questions About Entrepreneurs

I was interviewed yesterday by a journalist who is doing a television-style series on entrepreneurs which will be broadcast on the web starting this summer. He asked me somewhere around thirty questions about entrepreneurs. I didn’t take notes but here are ten questions I remember and a short quick summary of my answer.

What is entrepreneurship?
It’s the art of turning an idea into a business.

Can entrepreneurship be taught/learned?
I don’t think so. It’s like a personality disorder. You are born with it.

Is entrepreneurship limited to small companies? No. Some of the best companies in the world are run by enterepreneuers, like Apple/Jobs, News Corp/Murdoch, and Microsoft under Gates.

Are entrepreneurs "control freaks"? Yes.

What do you look for in entrepreneurs? First and foremost, they need to be magnets. For talent. For money. For attention. And for much more.

Is there an ideal age for an entrepreneur?
No, although most start at a young age since they don’t belong in big companies. But once an entrepreneur always an entrepreneur. We’ve got one entrepreneur in our portfolio who is approaching 60 and working on his fourth company.

Are there many women entrepreneurs? Sadly, the answer in the tech/web business is no.

Do entrepreneurs have balance in their lives? Often the answer is no. But as they age, it gets better.

What skills would you advise an entrepreneur to acquire?
Technical and product skills. Focus on the core offering. Let others worry about the rest.

Are entrepreneurs happier than others?  This one stumped me. I gave a half assed answer. Since many of you who read this blog are entrepreneurs, why don’t you answer this one in the comments.