Friday, April 10, 2009

Paths to Entrepreneurship

"Yoraba taiju no kage" - "Select the big tree for your shelter". I heard this Japanese proverb yesterday at a panel discussion organized by the Japan Society of San Diego and Tijuana, from Dr. Hiroyoshi Horikoshi, for many years head of Sankyo Research Labs in San Diego. It can also be translated as "if you are to serve, serve the powerful for your own good".

Dr. Horikoshi was seeking to explain why Japanese culture discourages entrepreneurship - to get on in life people are advised to go work for big companies or the government rather than take a risk and work for a small company or start-up.

How many entrepreneurs got started out of necessity, after a lay-off? Are there others who have tasted life in a major corporation and decided it is not for them - opting out for their own reasons? Is there a trend for students fresh from universities to reject the corporate path and head out on their own?

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