From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development

April 2013
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Entrepreneurs. 8. Failure and the unpredictable
Filed under: Interviewing, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 3:57 am

One of the routes to interviewing candidates for
start up companies uses “case study interviews.
In class, we used a case study interview on a small
team.  One member of the team was an engineer and
capable for visualizing the problem;  another member
was confident, but would need preparation to equally
participate in problem-solving.  Shortly after they
began this mock interview the second person asked
to leave and end her participation.  Frustrated.

So used to studying for the test and textbook answers
in academic training, this new situation where the
answer was not clear, assumptions had to be made
and more data was needed overwhelmed her. 
Fortunately she was coached into how to participate
as a facilitator, notetaker and visual thinker.

Entrepreneurial cultures accept failure as part of
the learning process.  They tout:  Fail quickly and
learn from each one
.  The WSJ printed an anecdote
that is abstracted to make a point about the origins
of death certificates
and its result in forming three
new industries, namely statistics, life insurance and
public health.
“the English king in 1665 desired to know why his
tax revenue was decreasing.  His collectors reported
that people were dying.  So, the king ordered that
each death needed to be certified.  And, “each week
why don’t we write down all the reasons each person
died this week…”

“What questions did you ask today?

Early military training can develop problem solving
skills, to think quickly on one’s feet and successfully
work in teams. 

Finally, an intriguing real life personal care products
entrepreneurial story
was reported where Jon Flint
used a scientific approach to develop proprietary
formulations that could not be copied by others
and met their claims.  He never thought he would
enter this field but a stroke of good fortune by
collaborating with renown Robert Langer  led to a
number of successful formulations.

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