Manically Lazy Entrepreneurs?

In the so-called “information age” or “knowledge economy” those with knowledge of how to make the most out of computers and software can find ways to completely restructure or re-engineer business processes and radically challenge “how it has always been done.” For instance, someone with programming skills can (depending on the infrastructure at hand) replace tedious manual-labor-based routines with automatized procedures – thereby freeing up labor for other tasks and capital for other investments.

One effect of this new set of opportunities is the greatly increased power of decentralization and spontaneity; another effect is that the organization can potentially be in a “continual flux,” which itself may be(come) costly (but sometimes made into a comparative advantage). The role of management therefore changes, often in a way described as away from old-style direction of processes and tasks and toward support of performers of tasks.

This raises obvious issues of entrepreneurship in organizations and how to make sure the organization itself remains entrepreneurial. And what are the drivers of entrepreneurship in the “knowledge economy.” Rick Falkvinge, for instance, argues that what drives entrepreneurs – at least in information-technology-based solutions – is that they are “manically lazy.” They work hard, says Falkvinge, only to avoid “boring” work, much like Mises’s entrepreneurs act in order to “remove or … alleviate the felt uneasiness” (p. 14), and gladly invest time and effort to never have to do this kind of work before.

Of course, if the primary motive for entrepreneurs is to avoid boredom rather than create [organizational] value, then this confirms the Williamsonian thesis that shirking is a real and present danger in any organization.

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One Response to Manically Lazy Entrepreneurs?

  1. Pingback: Startup Weekend to Columbia! « entrepreneurship@McQuinn

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