Friday, December 16, 2011

Emergency room for entrepreneurs.

          The Wall Street Journal noted something new at the mall: "New clinics that let patients skip the emergency room." These privately owned clinics are popping up at a time when there's been a 43% rise in patients seeking emergency care and a 27% drop in hospital emergency room departments between 1990 and 2009. They offer good service, fast service, and convenience.

           They're an example of opportunities that do exist even in difficult times. People still want things, complain about things and do without exactly what they need. Every day there's a new app for something we didn't know we were missing.

           In advertising, the move to mobile opens up new ways to reach and motivate people. In fashion, new lines and new line extensions are finding their niches. There are new things to microwave, new courses of study and other services for the unemployed, a newspaper just for the iPad, new ways to maximize gas mileage.

           Necessity is the mother of invention, ingenuity is the father. In 1906 the head of the U.S. Patent Office wrote a letter to the President, saying the Patent Office might as well close because everything's been invented.

           Entrepreneurs keep entrepreneuring. They can't help themselves. They see how technology often leaves something undone, or creates the need for something to be done.

           All over the country, business schools are putting new energy into entrepreneurship courses. At a time when people are out of work, they're teaching how to create businesses that put people to work.

           I bet you can come up with a money-making idea. My students do just that every quarter, and one of their ideas found its way into test at Whole Foods.

           Surely there's something you'd like to fix.

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