• An entrepreneur is someone who sets out to build their own business from the ground up.
• An intrapreneur is an employee who independently takes responsibility for innovative change in an existing company.
I co-founded my own startup and work full-time for a company where I have a lot of freedom to deliberately influence the company’s growth.
Here come the commonalities of the two roles that I have identified:
1. Understanding the market
In both cases, you need to have a clear understanding of what the target market looks like, as well as the target customers and their needs that you are trying to address with your product.
2. Securing the right resources
When entrepreneurs don’t have the cash to finance large projects, they try to raise capital from investors. This also applies to Intrapreneurs, because they have to convince internal stakeholders of their approach in order to access the available capital.
My tip is to run lean experiments early, before investing a lot of resources.
3. Communicating with stakeholders
As an entrepreneur, you are in constant exchange with stakeholders. Or at least you should be. The most important stakeholders are your customers. But internal characters, such as relevant employees or directors, also play an important role in achieving your goals.
4. Having the right mindset
Both roles are dealing with an unpredictable future that will determine whether the effort was a success or not. This requires perseverance, confidence, motivation, enthusiasm and, of course, the willingness to fail (and get back up).
5. Bringing the right skills
The best entrepreneurs have a broad base of knowledge and are not just specialists in one field. This also helps in a company when you can deal with a wide variety of departments and their challenges. Think about topics like product, finance, marketing, technology, design, sales.
Next up: How do entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship differ?