The news that Peter Drucker died on Friday inspired me to re-read a wonderful Q&A that Inc. published in the spring of 1996. In the interview, which was conducted by longtime Inc. editor George Gendron, Drucker lists what he considers to be four entrepreneurial pitfalls. They are:
1. The entrepreneur doesn't realize that a new product or service is not successful where he or she thought it would be but it is instead successful in a totally different market. (This, Drucker says, is much more common than you might imagine.)
2. Entrepreneurs believe that profit is what matters most in a new enterprise. Cash flow matters most.
3. As a business grows, the person who founded it becomes incredibly busy. Rapid growth puts an incredible strain on a business. You outgrow your production facilities. You outgrow your management capabilities.
4. When the business is a success, the entrepreneur (who is perhaps bored) begins to put himself and his needs before the business.
For a fuller explanation, check out the complete text of the article here.
Last updated: Nov 14, 2005
MIKE HOFMAN was previously editor of Inc.com and a deputy editor at Inc. magazine, which he joined in 1996. The site was nominated for a National Magazine Award for Digital Media in 2010, and was named the best business website by Folio Magazine. In 2006, Hofman was part of a team of writers nominated for a Webby Award for best business blog. He lives in New York City. @mikehofman