Silicon Valley entrepreneur and educator Steven Blank distinguishes between four types of entrepreneurs: Small business entrepreneurs
comprise the majority of entrepreneurs in the United States. They run everything from grocery stores, salons and travel agencies, to internet commerce storefronts, plumbing companies and fashion outlets. They tend to hire local employees or family, and focus their ambitions on providing for themselves and their families financially, not on dominating an industry. They usually fund their business via financial support from friends and family or from small business loans. Scalable start-up entrepreneurs
are typified by the Silicon Valley businessperson. They start companies hoping to change the world with their desired accomplishments, be they new advances in biomedical engineering or social media innovations. They attract investment from financial investors, called venture capitalists, and try to hire the best and brightest workers to discover a repeatable and scalable business model. When they find it, these entrepreneurs seek additional venture capital to fund more rapid business expansion. Scalable startups in innovation clusters (Silicon Valley, Shanghai, New York, Bangalore, Israel, etc.) comprise a small percentage of entrepreneurs and start-ups. But, they attract almost all of the venture capital and press attention. Large company entrepreneurs
work within larger corporations to expand their market coverage. Large companies have finite life cycles, and changes in consumer preferences can create pressure for disruptive innovation, requiring the businesses to create entirely new products sold to new customers in new markets. This is often accomplished by acquiring companies that work in the desired fields. Social entrepreneurs
try to create products and services that address social needs on a large scale. They seek to generate long-term social value rather than profits, and the organizations they lead may be non-profit, for-profit, or a hybrid of the two.
Source: Blank, Steven. “Startup America—Dead on Arrival
,” Steve Blank, February 8, 2011.