The nature of the business world in the present times has undergone much transformation on the score of various factors like the “advent of globalization, the recent developments in the fields of technology and innovations” and others and it is seen that every year many new start-up business organizations emerge in the market (Bridge and O'Neill 2012). However, if the entrepreneurial vision is not in synchronicity with the requirements of the present times and also if ineffective implementation means are utilised for the implementation of these business ideas then the concerned business cannot sustain itself for a very long period of time (Bridge and O'Neill 2012). The entrepreneurs are the individuals who design, launch as well as manage business organization which during its initial stage is a small business (Baum, Frese and Baron 2014). Baum, Frese and Baron (2014) are of the opinion that the skills as well as the personality of the entrepreneur are major factors on which the future prospects of a particular business organization depends and thus it can be said that the various entrepreneurs play a significant role in the business world. This paper will try to analyze the fact the fact whether “the downside (negative impact) of difficult behaviour or shady business dealings an acceptable trade-off for the success and wealth that entrepreneurs create or not” and will also discuss the strengths as well as the weaknesses of the entrepreneurs Bill Gates and Richard Branson in this particular context.
The top entrepreneurs of the world like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Amancio Ortega, Carlos Slim, Larry Page and others have one thing in common among them, namely, the passion for the thing which they did (Business Insider 2018). Parker (2018) is of the opinion that entrepreneurs are the people who not only come up with some new ideas but also take effective measures for the “growth and the development of that particular idea” and it is a reflection of this particular fact that the business ideas of most of the successful entrepreneurs in the present day context seem commonplace but at the time of their first articulation seemed totally “out of the box” (Parker 2018). For example, the idea of the usage of Android software seemed too revolutionary at the time of its innovation and it is precisely because of this particular reason that Nokia rejected the offer of Larry Page to use this software in the cell phones manufactured by them. However, Samsung was quick to realise the importance of this particular innovation and the current market position thoroughly justifies the choice (Brenkert 2017). Furthermore, the various entrepreneurs are also required to take into effective consideration the market requirements and develop an idea for their business which is not only in synchronization with the present times but also as per the requirements of the future times as well (Burns 2016).
The concept of entrepreneurship has been a topic of much discussion for many years and many people have tried to conceptualize the entire concept of entrepreneurship. However, recent studies have shown that there is no fixed behaviour trait or predictable pattern of behaviour among the various entrepreneurs of the world which one could follow to become a successful entrepreneur (Kirzner 2015). Furthermore, Kirzner (2015) is of the opinion of that the entrepreneurs in the present day context of the business world are the people who “initiates and motivates the process of change” for the success of their business idea and at the same time is required to “exploit as well as develop new business opportunities”. It is significant to note that many people get confused between the concepts of innovative as well as new ideas which the entrepreneurs are required to develop for their business (Drucker 2014). In the present times it is generally seen that the various entrepreneurs use the same strategies as well as ideas used since the traditional times but in a new innovative and modified form. Furthermore, the behavior of the entrepreneurs has been conceptualized in the present times. Therefore, in the present day context it is generally seen that a successful entrepreneur is the one who is risk taking, creates new business opportunities, had leadership traits, uses his or her intuition for the process of business and others (Drucker 2014).
In the opinion of Storey (2016), the various entrepreneurs are often required to work in a non-idea manner and take the help of decisions which are essential for the overall growth as well as the development of their business organisation (Storey 2016). Furthermore, Storey (2016) is also of the viewpoint that the primary ideology of the various entrepreneurs from the different parts of the world is on the expansion of the business organisation that they have founded and also the business idea which they have. This particular view is being contested by scholars like Kets de Vries (1985) who argues the fact that the various entrepreneurs should try to act in an ideological manner and that they are required to focus more on the process of the attainment of the goal which they have set rather than the goal itself. However, in the present day context it is generally seen that the various entrepreneurs are motivated by their personal passions as well as emotions and thus it is often seen that they end up making decisions which though beneficial for the business organisation in the longer run are not as per the various precepts of the ideological behaviour required of them (Kets de Vries 1985). A pertinent example of this is the entrepreneur Steve Jobs whose passion for perfection which was manifested in the creation of the closed circuit computer systems in contrast to the open circuit computer systems manufactured by the company Windows though repudiated by many of his colleagues as well as friends eventually led to the success of the company Apple (Kets de Vries 1985). It is true that the theoretical perspective of the concept of entrepreneurship dictates that the various entrepreneurs are not only required to make the kind of decisions which are likely to further enhance the prospects of their business ideas but at the same time they should try to achieve the success of their business ventures following various sets of ideologies (Kets de Vries 1985). However, it is generally seen that the practical scenarios which the entrepreneurs often encounter during the conduct of their business are drastically different from the theoretical ones and thus the actions or the decisions made by them are not always in synchronisation with the ideological nature of the concept of entrepreneurship. Thus, it is generally seen that the entrepreneurs are required to favour certain individuals over others in the workplace and take the help of other kinds of methods which are likely to further enhance the prospects of their business and business ideas rather than stick to the various ideologies and ideological theories.
Bill Gates is one of the most popular names in the contemporary business world not only for being one of the richest men in the history of the world but also for his “rags to riches story” (Business Insider 2018). Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard to pursue the entrepreneurial idea which he had and along with Paul Allen founded their first software company which later on lead to their working together and this association ultimately formed the company “Microsoft” (Business Insider 2018). He discovered his love for machines and more precisely computers very early in his life and throughout his educational career it was seen that he was trying to come up various kinds of innovative ideas as well as plans to create his own computer system. As a matter of fact, in his second year at college he developed an “algorithm for pancake sorting” which held the record for being “the fastest version for over thirty years” and the algorithm that broke this record was faster than the version of Bill Gates by only one percent (Elkins 2018). It is significant to note that during the entire course of his professional he had insisted on the use of innovation as well as creativity for the development of the business which he had. Furthermore, there are several strengths of the entrepreneur Bill Gates which helped him to make it to the big platform. It is significant to note that the entrepreneur style of Bill Gates is a combination of both the ideological framework of entrepreneurship and also the “shady side of the modern day entrepreneurship”. Bill Gates during the entire course of his professional career is seen to be taking the help of “shady side of the modern day entrepreneurship” and often shifts away from the ideological paradigm of the concept of entrepreneurship. Gates throughout the course of his professional career has worked for the growth as well as the development of the business idea which he has and thus he has often been blamed for favouring certain people at the workplace over the others and also taking the help of other kinds of activities that are totally contrary to the ideological nature of entrepreneurship (The Independent 2018). In an article of The Guardian (2018), Ellie Mae O'Hagan said that “Gates' halo slips when one looks at the treatment of workers at a waste management company in which he invests” and in this particular regard she mentions the practices of Republic Services of which Gates is a major shareholders like locking out the workers who protest against the mismanagement of the company and others. Furthermore, Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft in an article of The Independent (2018) says that Gates is a schemer and Gates never let him have the fame and the credit that he deserved and took the entire credit for the success of the company although both of them had worked equally hard for the sake for the growth of the company. These are indeed shady sides of the character and the entrepreneurial process followed by him. The intuitive nature of Gates, his risk taking abilities, motivational skills and others are the main key strengths of his individual character. Furthermore, the passion which he has for the work which he does is also commendable. In a recent interview when asked that he had wasted the first 50 years of his life trying to build the empire of the company Microsoft he replied that “Life starts at 50” hinting towards the retirement which he had in mind (Elkins 2018). Furthermore, his risk taking abilities as well as intuitive nature was also a significant contributor towards the fame which he attained. Therefore, it can be said that Bill Gates is the kind of entrepreneur who not only takes into consideration the present needs as well as the requirements of the organisation but also the future ones as well. These in short are some of the key strengths of the entrepreneur Bill Gates. In an interview with the CNBC Gates said that “dealing with the hiring issues, the management issues....I always have to get other people to come in and help ... build up the team” (Elkins 2018). Furthermore, in the same interview he said that managing sales as well as accounts were never his forte and he had to take the help of others to cater to these two departments of the organisation. These in short are some of the weaknesses of the entrepreneur Bill Gates.
Richard Branson is another famous entrepreneur of the 21st century who is known for his innovative ideas. He is more famous as the founder of the United Kingdom’s Virgin Group which within a very short time has emerged as one of the major business organisations of the nation of the United Kingdom and is a conglomeration of more 400 business organisations as per a 2017 data (Virgin 2018). In the opinion of Branson articulated in one of his own blogs “Success in business has everything to do with the team you hire. Surround yourself with people that are smarter than you, give them everything they need to grow, and your business will thrive” (Virgin 2018). In the opinion of Humphrey (2016), one of the key strengths of Branson and as a matter of fact of all the major entrepreneurs of the world is the effective management of the teams with which they are required to work with and which forms one of the core parts of their business organisation. Furthermore, another key strength of Branson can be said to be his effective people management skills and his use of the concept of emotional intelligence for the purpose of the leadership style which he followed to get the diverse entities of the organisation work towards the achievement of the overall goals of the organisation. It is significant to note that inspite of the many positive qualities of Branson which helped him to become success as well as one of the richest men of the world he had certain weaknesses as well. For example, Branson as per his own admission hates to indulge in public speaking which forms an important part of the various business organisations as well as leaders in the present day scenario (The Guardian 2018). Furthermore, the lack of professional as well as academic experience of Branson acts as an impediment for him and as per his own confession he had to take the help of other individuals for the purpose of the effective management of his business and in as per his own admission this particular fact makes him dependent on the various managers and others associated with his company for various diverse purposes like auditing, monitoring of the finances and others. Branson is known to suffer from Dyslexia ever since his childhood and this particular fact acts a serious impediment for him (Virgin 2018). However, inspite of this particular impediment he was able to build a successful business venture. However, Branson just like Bill Gates has often been accused of favouritism and giving preference to the business idea he had rather than to the interests of the employees and the other individuals who are associated with his organisation (Humphrey 2016). In addition to this, scholars like Humphrey (2016) are of the viewpoint that the use of the concept of emotional intelligence for the process of leadership is just a façade by means of which he has been able to gain the support of the majority of the employees who are associated with his company and also to get them to perform to their maximum potential for the smooth conduct of his business. In addition to this charges of tax eviction have also been brought against him and there have even been speculations that he charged his private residence to the Caribbean island for the evasion of tax which he owned to the government (The Guardian 2018). Furthermore he even denied the basic compensatory payments to the shareholders after some of his business ventures failed (The Guardian 2018). This is indeed considered to be one of the shady aspects of his character since by not paying the tax which the government rightfully owed he sought to bring the development of his business project. Thus, it would be apt to say that the character of Branson as well as the policies used by him for the conduct of his business is indicative of the fact that in the present times the entrepreneurs need to take the help of the shady side of the concept of entrepreneurship.
To conclude, the concept of entrepreneurship has emerged as one of the most important ones in the present day context and it is a reflection of this particular fact the various entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas are the current trend of the business world. However, it is significant to note that the entrepreneurs are often in a dilemma as whether they do the thing which will lead to the expansion of their business or do the thing which is going to portray him or her in a positive light. Thus, it is generally seen that the behaviour which the various entrepreneurs display in the present times are far from being the ideological ones that the various theories of entrepreneurship state and in a way it can be said that the present competitive world of business to a certain extent demands this as well.
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