Friday, March 17, 2006

Multidisciplinarity

Two things have kept me busy:

1. The Young Inventors' conference at MIT (which was a great success!). Thank you to the MIT Public Service Center.
2. Accepting an offer from Carnegie Mellon University's doctoral program in Strategy, Entrepreneurship, and Technological Change.

I turned down offers from Harvard University, University of Texas at Austin and a few other universities because I felt that the CMU program could offer something very unique: multidisciplinarity. The program brings together the fields of decision sciences/economics, public policy, business, and engineering to explore the process of technological change and entrepreneurship.

I had always been under the impression that innovation and entrepreneurship cannot be understood from a single perpsective because it is such a complex process, which is why I was so interested in the program.

Then, during visit day, I talked about the concept of risk and entrepreneurship with one of the professors. I was interested how perceptions of risk might affect decisions by entrepreneurs, in particular whether entrepreneurs had a different risk perception profile than other people that would encourage them to start new, unproven ventures. It seems that entrepreneurs do not have a higher TOLERANCE for risk; instead, they PERCEIVE entrepreneurship as the least risky pursuit than other alternatives.

Fascinating.

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