Podcast: Innovation and Entrepreneurs

Innovation and Entrepreneurs - Rohit Shukla The podcast above was captured at the 8th annual Kentucky Innovation & Entrepreneurship Conference where Rohit Shukla outlined the tenets of the Network-Centric model. The speech centered on the idea that, due to the speed with which the global economy moves today—largely due to the global connectivity brought on by the internet—linear approaches to commercialization are no longer sufficient. That is, one cannot go tackle commercialization with a pre-formed plan and follow it religiously without modification. Failing to adapt to rapidly changing market conditions will leave one with an ill-suited, and thus insufficient, plan. Imagine climbing a flight of stairs in which the height of each stair is constantly changing. To “plan” on climbing the staircase by stepping two feet up for each stair simply won’t work; to do so would leave one flat on one’s face—in this case quite literally, in the case of the entrepreneur more figuratively. Instead, the stair climber must constantly update his awareness of what is in front of him, using that updated knowledge to change his steps accordingly. The entrepreneur of today must be the “reactive” stair climber, employing a non-linear business model and constantly updated market knowledge.

The speech goes on to further identify the needs of today’s high-growth entrepreneur. In order to be as “reactive” as possible, today’s high growth entrepreneur must have immediate access to just-in-time expertise and resources. Through just-in-time access to expertise and resources is the only way that the entrepreneur can react quickly enough to opportunities that quickly arise, and just as quickly fade away. This is where support organizations, and the network-centric model, come into play. Given that the entrepreneur has his hands full with the operations of his business, it is support organizations that must nurture relationships with domain experts across regions, granting high-growth entrepreneurs just-in-time access to a critical knowledge base. This networked connection to resources, regardless of location, is the foundation of the network-centric model.