By Elizabeth MacBride, Apr 29, 2020
We celebrate, and possibly romanticize, entrepreneurs who stay steady in a crisis, who stick to a strategy and vision through thick and thin. But in a slow-rolling disaster like COVID-19, the qualities rising to the fore are different. Entrepreneurs need to be able to quickly shift strategies, and to recognize if it’s time to let a vision go entirely.
I asked Bill Aulet, the managing director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, for ideas about what entrepreneurs ought to be doing to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. What kinds of functional behavior is he seeing, and what kind of dysfunctional behavior?
Aulet, a serial entrepreneur, is one of the MIT faculty auctioning lunches and Zoom meetings to benefit Cambridge charities for people affected by COVID-19. Others include Professor Sandy Pentland, one of Forbes’s “7 most powerful data scientists in the world,” and former NASA deputy administrator Dava Newman.
Aulet is a well-known figure in the world of entrepreneurial education, and the author of Disciplined Entrepreneurship.