Chances are pretty good, if you are an entrepreneur or have the entrepreneurial itch, that you have heard the statements above more than once and from multiple people. If these responses make you want to do ‘your thing’ even more, you are not alone; in fact you are in very good company.
You are disruptive!
Disruptive innovation, a term coined by Clayton Christensen, describes a process by which a product or service takes root at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors. Examples from history include electricity, the automobile, the refrigerator, and the television. Modern disruptive innovation has brought us the likes of Facebook, the iPhone, and Uber. Disruptors are the trailblazers that define the direction of this progress.
Disrupting Startup Culture. The emerging startup culture in the U.S. brings the promise of great things for women but, as of now, we struggle to find our place in it. Unfortunately, some of the same barriers that exist for woman in the traditional workforce have seeped over into this new landscape. Training and funding opportunities tend to favor the young, male, tech-savvy founder; most events and accelerators are led by men organizers, judges, mentors, and investors. In addition, the existing startup culture has a strong focus on “high-growth”, highly scalable, tech-driven businesses; these t tend not to be the top sectors and industries pursued by the majority of women entrepreneurs. In addition, often the cost of participation and/or the intense time requirements of these programs organically eliminate the opportunity for many women to participate.
Disruption is required. A woman needs her own startup culture designed to meet her unique needs. innovateHER seeks to define this new culture for women, taking matters into our own hands and creating a paradigm shift that will forever change the way women see and ‘do’ entrepreneurship.
Disrupting Your Industry. You can define your own business success through industry disruption. Create a product or service that fills an unmet need, creates a new process, redefines your industry or sparks the creation of a totally new market or market segment. Think BIG!
Disrupting Your Self. The heart of disruption is new vision. You must be willing to reinvent yourself, see things in new ways, look beyond barriers, and try something new. Do not be constrained by anything or anyone. If someone tries to put you in their box, don’t just break out of it; create a bigger and better box for yourself with unlimited room for growth.
Always be challenging yourself. Always be disrupting. Your future self will thank you.