This post has been copied from Manu’s blog. Manu is currently studying the International MBA at IE. You can read his blog in full by clicking here.
Ceiling high bonfires, loud chants and noises and the smell of smoke and spirit in the air! No, this isn’t the scene of another protest. This is typical of the weekend party following the end of first term at IE.
Less than 3 months into the program, everyone was forced to face, what has come to be known as, the dreaded CURVE! The only thing people could talk about for the last 2 weeks was decision trees and bonds and maslow hierarchy and what not. From the basic Debit-Credit theory to the most complicated forms of Markov chains, people stepped and stumbled at all different points in between. And with just a weekend of sigh and relief before everyone dives head first into Term 2, this gives me a perfect opportunity to recap.
So, what’ve we learnt so far? We now know how some of the biggest accounting scandals took place in the last decade. From the Enrons and Worldcoms of the world we have but one lesson to learn – Know thy balance sheet! And the best way to test the ethical and moral standards of your actions – The Phone Test i.e. how would your friends and family react when you give them the news about your proceedings. While it may be difficult for some to comprehend, but if one’s true to themselves, at the least, this test should give a fair bit of warning when you take your business and accounting decisions.
While most accounting scandals take place because someone in the management didn’t have the right ethical outlook, most strategic blunders take place when people are ill-informed. We have seen how some of the most thought after strategies have that innate flaw in them that somehow people miss out on. Look at the new Coke of the ’80s or the Nike ERP failure of 2000. And though we have seen these failures and learned from them, there is no guarantee that we won’t see such disasters in the future. In fact we know that we’re bound to see even bigger ones as companies get bigger and start taking more and more expensive projects. While this is the story for every company in the world, this is also the basis on which the consulting industry runs and has become so big. But one needs to remember that consultants have limited information compared to the industry tycoons but they know exactly what to look for.
And finally the mother of all industries. This is an industry that single handedly accounts for almost everything that we know and buy and use in the world. Every firm was once a part of this industry and thousands more become a part of this year after year. This is the reason why IE is amongst the top B-schools in the world. This is the era of Entrepreneurship! While most people would agree that this industry creates more employment in the world than other other still there are not enough governments that are willing to invest in this heavily. This is the only sure shot solution to resolve the world economic crisis yet not many people are willing to take this up. The reason behind this is what people call in Game Theory – Belling the Cat! That’s right. Though the industry has much to offer, the owners have much to lose as well. And its not just the failure of the business associated with it but the Economic effect of opportunity cost. Why would one give up a perfectly comfortable 9-5 job and the opportunity to earn hundreds of thousands a year for a career path that offers years of hard-work, sleepless nights, loss of health, loss of family connection and very little chance of ending up in a zero-profit situation?
The answer lies in human psyche. What is the one thing people value more than greed? The one thing that you can’t get in any other job? The one thing that will make that loss of money worth it?
It’s about freedom. Not just for yourself, but also for the whole world. Where would the world be without the Steve Jobs, the Bill Gates, the Einsteins and even the Zuckerbergs? We not only want the entrepreneurs, we need them.
So, I hail to all theses people. Those who gave meaning to our life, progress to our civilization and better future to us and our generations. For to be an entrepreneur is nothing shy of being a rebel and to break the shackles so often that the rule breaking itself becomes a norm!
Gracias, por favor!