Rebecca and I have had many conversations over the years about identifying gaps and seeing opportunities, in fact we did a segment on this topic in our Seeing the Big Picture and Critical Thinking workshops. It is a skill I have and didn’t realize for many years that not everyone has this skill. In a recent article, Amy Wilkinson referred to identifying gaps and seeing opportunities as entrepreneurial alertness. I am thrilled to find her recent book The Creators Code: The Six Essential Skills for Extraordinary Entrepreneurs. Here’s a bit more info about the book. Not sure how I missed it when it was first published!
“For her landmark book, Wilkinson conducted rigorous interviews with 200 of today’s leading entrepreneurs including the founders of LinkedIn, Chipotle, eBay, Under Armour, Tesla Motors, SpaceX, Spanx, Airbnb, PayPal, JetBlue, Gilt Groupe, Theranos, and Dropbox. Setting her work apart, she then drilled down through the latest academic research and analyzed data from across diverse fields, applying scientific methodology to crack the code on what it takes to go from startup to scale in our rapidly changing economy.
Evaluating companies as diverse as Yelp, Chobani, and Zipcar, Wilkinson found that their creators all share — and have honed — fundamental skills that can be learned, practiced, and passed on. Entrepreneurial success is born of daring, discipline, and the six skills she identifies, proven effective in a variety of endeavors and industries:
- Find the gap: Spot opportunities that others don’t see
- Drive for daylight: Manage speed by focusing on the horizon
- Fly the OODA loop: Master fast-cycle iteration to observe, orient, decide, and act
- Fail wisely: Set a failure ratio and hone resilience
- Network minds: Harness cognitive diversity to build on each other’s ideas
- Gift small goods: Unleash generosity to increase productivity”