As part of the creative and cultural entrepreneurship module I will be analysing the content of each lecture; studying an array of texts linked to the subjects discussed, and then comparing what I have learnt with my pre existing understanding of the subjects. Through this process I will hopefully gain a greater understanding of both creativity and entrepreneurship, and how the two are interconnected. I will also be considering what factors affect entrepreneurship, and which of these are most important in making a venture a success.
To be an entrepreneur is defined as, a person who sets up a business, and takes on the financial risk in a hope for profit. This person has usually identified a niche within a market, which they believe they will be able to exploit, primarily for financial gain. To be a successful entrepreneur a person must have the right balance of motivation, power & leadership skills in order to lead the direction of the project. When successful, an entrepreneur will often be the leader of a social trend, with others attempting to follow in their footsteps. D.F Kuratko (2008: 3) defines entrepreneurs as "Entrepreneurs are individuals who recognize opportunities where others see chaos and confusion. They are an aggressive catalyst for change within the market place". As stated above, entrepreneurship is normally used in context with trying to sell a product, and in doing so taking a financial risk; however entrepreneurship can refer to social entrepreneurship or creative entrepreneurship.
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Social entrepreneurship refers to displaying entrepreneurial skills in an attempt to manage a social venture, with the aim of bringing forward a social, cultural or environmental change. Social entrepreneurship is usually undertaken on a voluntary basis, with the entrepreneur attempting to pass on their beliefs to other people in order to achieve their goals.
Creative entrepreneurship is to be an entrepreneurial within the creative industries; the individual takes risks not just financially but also with all the creative aspects of the project. Whilst most entrepreneurs may just be trying to sell a product that they haven't created, entrepreneurs within the creative industries are likely to be trying to sell not just a product that they have either designed or played a role in designing, but to sell the overall concept behind their product.
To sell their idea, be it the latest electrical device or a simple piece of hand crafted jewellery; the creative entrepreneur must exercise both an element of creativity when designing their product, and tap into a social belief or value in order to persuade the prospective buyer that their product is superior to the rest of the market. To do this they must define the unique selling point of their product, either by emphasising a products best qualities; or as has become more common over time, the entrepreneur plays upon the image of a product. The qualities and image of a product will relate directly to the beliefs and values of the target audience that the entrepreneur is aiming his product at; attaching their products to these beliefs and values makes them more appealing to the potential customer. Peter Drucker defined the art of marketing a product as, "The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself." (Drucker, 1974: 64-65)
To be successful, entrepreneurs first need develop an idea or product, for which they are able to identify a clear target audience and are willing to take a risk with, be it financial or creative. They then need to carefully market their product towards the audience in such a way that the customer believes that the product is superior to other competitors, leaving them in no doubt that this is the correct product for them. Even subtle aspects of a product can be a major influence in establishing a product as better than the rest. These details can be as simple as the items shape, for instance the shape of the I-Pod or even the shape of a bottle of Coca Cola "....through extensive use, the shape and bottle had acquired a reputation and identified and distinguished Coca Cola in the minds of the average customer." (Mostert and Apolzon 2007:42)
Beliefs & Values
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Beliefs and values can be specific to an individual, a certain demographic, or even an entire culture. It is through these beliefs and values that we are able to get an overall picture of how society may view a certain person, idea or product.
Belief is something that is at least thought to be true, and in general is true. So therefore it becomes part of a wider set of beliefs of a person, social group or society. However unless backed up by facts a belief is not a certain thing, and this is where it then differentiates from knowledge. For instance a person may believe one car to be faster than another, however until it is proven it is merely a belief.
A value is something that is desired by a individual or wider demographic in a person or object. Values for instance vary between objective and subjective values. Some values which are almost universal for instance avoidance of pain, or a desire for pleasure. Other values are subjective to people, demographics and cultures; these subjective values are in many ways influenced by the beliefs and ethics of the group, or individual.
Once they have gained a clear understanding of the overall social beliefs and values, prospective entrepreneurs can then target their product at the correct demographic, and understand how best to approach marketing it to them. Gaining a clear knowledge of which demographic to aim their product towards, and then marketing it successfully towards them, can often be difference between success and failure of a product.
Creativity is often thought to be a spontaneous act, and something that usually cannot be taught. However creativity is better defined as a the process of developing an idea from it's initial stage to a final outcome. It is in the development of these ideas where the real creative process exists, as an idea is realised in whatever form best suits it. Creativity is often associated with genius, however Thomas Edison (c. 1903) was quoted as describing genius as, "Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration." This emphasises the importance hard work, and trial and error to the creative process.
Creativity covers everything from art, design and writing through to science and management strategies. It is displayed by everyone from an early age, from a child playing simple games, through to an adult exercising creativity within a working environment, or as part of a personal objective. Though everyone is creative to some degree, it is true that some individuals have greater aptitude for it than others, but it is rarely a spontaneous thing rather a product of hard work and perseverance, as some one works through a process towards the best possible outcome for their idea. "Creativity is a process that can be developed and improved. Everyone is creative to some degree. However, as is the case with many abilities and talents (athletic, artistic, etc.), some individuals have a greater amplitude for creativity than others." (D.F Kuratko, 2008: 131).
It is those willing to invest the greatest amount of time and energy in their ideas, and who pursue the largest number of the ideas they have, who have the the highest success rate. A distinguishing characteristic of genius is immense productivity. Thomas Edison held 1,093 patents, which is still the record today. Einstein is best known for his "Theory of Relativity" paper, however he had 248 other published works. Mozart wrote over six hundred pieces of music.
If an individual knows how to apply exactly the right processes to an idea, then they will be able to achieve the best possible outcome. For instance, Maya Angelou is quoted as saying that "As a writer I know that I must select studiously the nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, etcetera, and by a careful syntactic arrangement make a reader laugh, reflect or riot" (1989). Illustrating that when combining the greatest amount of effort, with the correct processes, that the greatest levels of success will be achieved. These processes must be learned through either education, or trial and error techniques, till an individual or group knows exactly the right methods that are needed to realise an idea or concept.
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Creativity rather than being a momentary spark of brilliance, where an individual pulls a complete idea from seemingly no where; is a wide combination of factors, all of which play a part in the creative process. A simple formula for creativity could be: Idea + Process = Creativity. however when considering the importance of perseverance and labour to the creative process, the following formula might be more appropriate: Idea + Effort x Process = Creativity. Though there is no definite answer to the true nature of creativity, it is widely accepted that an array of factors play a part in the final out come; and as such these factors can differ from individual to individual, and idea to idea.
I.P. - Intellectual Property
I.P. or Intellectual Property is the term used to describe products, ideas or concepts which a person has created. Once an individual has developed his I.P, it is important that they then register their ideas, so as to protect it as their idea. Registering a product allows the individual to benefit from any profit made from a product, whilst simultaneously stopping other persons from exploiting the product or idea for their own benefit.
Under I.P. law a person has exclusive rights to whatever asset it is that they have created. These assets can be either physical or conceptual, and range from inventions and discoveries, through artistic works they have created, and even down to the name, symbols and designs that they have used in the branding of their product or business. In some situations trade secrets can even be registered, for instance the recipe for coca cola has been protected for over seventy years.
I.P. can be protected by a number of juridical concepts, these concepts include, copyright, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights and to some degree trade secrets. However, the juridical process surrounding these laws can be a minefield. When a case comes to court it can often come down to the word of one individual against another, and in cases like this it is those who can afford to spend most on court costs and lawyers that will benefit from the laws the most.
With regards to I.P. in the artistic & creative context, it is usually copyright that an entrepreneur would us to protect their creation. I.P. laws can also mean that an individual developing new artistic creations might need to pay to use someone else's copyrighted material, for instance if you are making a documentary about a musician, a large part of the films budget may be spent licensing the musicians music from whichever company holds the rights to their work.
In conclusion, I feel that successful entrepreneurship within creative industries is a combination of a myriad of factors. A prospective entrepreneur must be able to correctly identify an area in the market, for which they feel they can create a product that will fill the gap successfully. For the product to be successful it must appeal to specific beliefs & value that the prospective target audience may have. To emphasise this point, a product will require an intelligent marketing campaign that plays upon a pre existing wide held belief, this then creates a unique selling point for their product. It is these factors that will ultimately be the difference between a product being a success or failure.
It is the development of ideas within these areas, that creativity plays a major role. A greater level of creative thinking will aid in the development of an idea into an outstanding product. This creativity can be in, how a new product is developed to fill a niche within a market; or how an existing product is redeveloped so as to make it more appealing to the public; or how something is marketed to convince the prospective audience that this product is the best available.
With their heightened influence on public trends, creative entrepreneurs and the products are seen as highly important figures within society. Not only are they responsible for providing jobs and revenue, they can become figureheads of great changes in mainstream culture. They themselves can also become celebrated as successful individuals. "In recent years an increased priority has been assigned to the entrepreneur as a particular type of person who is highly valued, and who we are all encouraged to emulate." (P.Carr 2000: 99)