In the talk at Stanford University, Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, shares his professional experience and his expert ideas on entrepreneurship. For over thirty years, Microsoft was one of the leaders in forming the physical world, mode of life, and worldviews by introducing new technology and promoting innovative devices which nowadays are integrated into the daily life of billions of people. The talk reveals that the most important aspects of success in business and bringing positive change to the world are high-quality ideas, patience, skills, innovation, and business thinking.
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A good idea is the basis of business performance – it gives inspiration and can influence the development of any industry. In the talk, it was mentioned that even in the worst environmental conditions, it is possible to start an enterprise but the quality of the idea is the decisive factor for the attraction of investments and organizational longevity.
Ballmer says that although the severe economic context is the reason for “a more critical screen” and a more cautious economic behavior of consumers, it provides good opportunities to make the world and people better (Ballmer 2). Excellent ideas are always in demand, and an entrepreneur should not be concerned with mere profitability but should consider the quality of his/her intentions. A good idea nurtures the inspiration of entrepreneurs, and it also inspires others: investors, potential business partners, communities, and individuals. Thus, the generation of an idea that is worth actualization is the initial and the most crucial phase.
The realization of a good idea always takes time. As mentioned by Ballmer, “some things that wind up being important take more than 10 years to get popular” (Ballmer 3). Based on this, it is wrong to believe that the promotion of an idea can be effortless and does not require significant intellectual contribution and time investment in its development. Time is as well required to gain sufficient experience and expertise in the field of own performance. Thus, time can be regarded as an important resource and, when used wisely, it allows organizations to build competitive advantages, develop competence and refine skills.
Skills may be regarded as the driving force in introducing changes and innovations. No matter how great the idea is, one needs the knowledge and skills to bring it to life. Knowledge and skills development endow a person with an ability to conduct a comprehensive and multidimensional analysis of different situations, risks, opportunities and to select adequate and innovative methods for the stimulation of business development.
Innovation is one of the major qualities of a successful entrepreneurship and is a necessary aspect of modeling the world. While the majority of people only follow the course of development, an innovative entrepreneur thinks a step ahead. A dynamically changing environment prompts the needs for change, and the main task is to forecast these needs for the improvement and strive to achieve desired changes.
Finally, it is almost impossible to achieve goals and objectives without strategies and efficient management of different resources. Therefore, business thinking is a necessity. In the talk, Steve Ballmer says that when he joined the company, no one could be regarded as a businessman but over some time he understood the importance of being a “business person” (Ballmer 2). Business knowledge and strategic management facilitate the arrangement of a work process and help to maintain inspiration in an organized way. Business thinking and management help to hold skills, ideas, innovation, and the use of time in a way that increases the chances for success and efficient transition to desired change.
Ballmer, Steve. “The Future of Microsoft, the Future of Technology (Entire Talk).” Stanford eCorner, 6 May, 2009.