MIM Compass Ebook

Gian's Master in Management (2010/11): Part 3

Gianpaolo (25) started the Master in International Management at IE Business School (Madrid) in April 2010. In his third Master blog he summarizes his fourth month in the program and his experience of becoming an entrepreneur.

 

The rise of the entrepreneurs: based on true facts.

Hi everyone, I hope you all have enjoyed from the great European summer. Now that we are all back in town and back at work, I would like to share with you what had happened during the last 5 weeks of my Master in Management which has been very focus on developing an entrepreneurial idea from the scratch. Let’s start!

From the second period onward (about 3 months ago), me and my classmates started the Entrepreneurial Management course with a professor who is a very experienced guy in internal entrepreneurship (innovation and service/product development inside an existing company). Once we finish the initial steps in which the idea was mainly to discuss about “Entrepreneurship: can it be really taught? Or is a matter of pure genetic?”, we put ourselves to work on the ideas we wanted to carry out.

The different groups from the Master in Management class started to develop different very “creative” and complex ideas (or should say, absolutely crazy ideas… proudly I must say also the ones from my group were very “creative-crazy” too). The next step of the process was very clear: some cleaning was required in order to get rid of the non-feasible ideas (small market, too much competition, high barriers to entry). At this point we were asked to pick our “one-million project”, in which the entire team would concentrate their efforts and works together towards the same goal.

Once this very traumatic (my “baby-project” did not manage to survive this phase… but who knows in the years to come what could happen) step was over, we try to refine the group’s idea, minimize the CONS and the “BUTs” and come up with something that seemed feasible: I honestly would buy that product (sorry for not being able to share the idea/concept of our project with you… but don’t worry, give us some time and you will have it in your closest outdoor retailing), no questions ask!. To get to the output of this phase the entire team carried out a lot of research on market and non-market variables, potential manufacturers, and distribution channels to include as part of our strategy.

Nowadays, we are still tuning our product to make it even more attractive to buyers. What I have found very interesting in this experience at Instituto de Empresa (IE) is that you really put yourself in the game; your hands are modeling the product. For a period of time, you really become an entrepreneur; you fight for your idea, get as many inputs as possible; take into account regulations and the legal framework that will help you protect your idea from being copied. This is not an academic exercise, you have a real market with real needs and you have solutions for them. Connect the dots, and while you are doing your contribution to the society why not making a few bucks for the stakeholders involved? Isn’t it always about this? I think so… or at least I hope so.

What I have realized, and I think is one of those major PROS that should be immediately be included as part of “why you should do a Master in International Management”, is related with the fact that the students that are finishing this Master in Management program are starting new ideas/products/small-companies right after their graduation (as soon as I get formal statistics, I will post them here). The fact that we are younger has an impact in two different areas:

a) Less experienced on the one hand, but on the other hand with less barriers or prejudices to start new projects and bring innovation in because we have not been influenced by any company’s internal culture. So in a way, this “naiveness” can be seen as a very tangible way as an opportunity of having access to “out-of-the-box” thinkers.

b) No family burden. Our responsibilities in terms of wife, kids, dog, mortgage, tend to be very low or inexistent. This give us an extra couple of chances to start something new and see how it goes, if it works: “great!”; if not, we can take our time to reorganize our thoughts, define our new strategy, and do our best when performing the tactics we have decided. What I mean is that, the Master in Management students are (regardless of their culture or background) more risk takers. Their plan is very easy; they are planning to conquer the world.

You might absolutely disagree with me, and that’s great, but let’s take one second to check what does Bill Gates (Microsoft), Steve Jobs (Apple), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) have in common (besides the fact that the three of them drop out from good schools). They were very young when they started their businesses, and with one main thing to focus on: transform an idea into something tangible. They had less prejudices, very impulsive, and passionate about something. In addition to what they had, we (Master in Management students) have in our backpack a strong network of people, and many business tools to help us be very effective and efficient while starting our project on our own or in an existing company.

So… good luck conquering the world,

 

Gianpaolo Tepedino
Master in International Management Candidate 2010-2011

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