Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Entrepreneur as the Modern Explorer

Thanks to the family’s largesse, Buster has studied everything from Native American tribal ceremonies … to cartography, the mapping of unchartered territories.

Arrested Development, Season 1 Pilot
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Think of an explorer. Where did they go? Why did they go there? What did they find? What did they inspire? Exploration extends beyond imagination, to where no man (or woman) has gone before. From the highest peaks, to the limitless depths of the Amazon, to the troughs of the grandest oceans, explorers put themselves on the line. They take passionate risks.

Think of an entrepreneur. What did they build? Why did they build it? What problem are they solving? How did they change the world? Entrepreneurs solve real problems with innovative solutions. Whether for consumers, businesses, or both, entrepreneurs identify the unknown and attempt to solve problems like never before. Risking their livelihood, entrepreneurs put themselves on the line. They take passionate risks.

Through my employment at Tigerlabs, I have the good fortune to invest in and work alongside brilliant risk takers tackling real problems, modern explorers if you will. Whether they are incentivizing healthy behavior (LifeVest Health), making it easier for scientists to communicate, collaborate, and solve the great disease mysteries of our time (PLOM), or making real time discussion and collaboration possible (Wisdomly), these entrepreneurs are solving the problems they see in the world. There is nothing more inspiring than having the opportunity to sit side-by-side with real explorers.


Though Arrested Development might very well make fun of the notion of a cartographer (sorry, Buster), the mapping of unchartered territories extends beyond geography. For an entrepreneur, the unchartered is the limits of their ability to design, build, and execute. Core to their ability is the power to iterate, to recognize their mistakes and do better, to look failure in its face and dig deeper.

The notion of the entrepreneur as the modern explorer extends beyond the physical. Entrepreneurial risk explores how far we are willing to take ourselves beyond the known world. What greater exploration could we ever ask for?

Ready. Set. Go.


James Smits
james.robert.smits[AT]gmail.com
New York, NY

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