December 27, 2016

How do the E-Myth Roles apply to the Entrepreneur?


In Gerber’s “E-Myth Revisited,” the roles of Entrepreneur, Manager, and Technician, are shown to be vital to the longterm success of any business. Previously, we examined what it looks like to run a business from the perspective of each of these roles, and learned from what others have done wrong. This time we will discuss the role of the Entrepreneur, and look at an example of a job done well.

Entrepreneurs live in the idea world, they are the visionaries and dreamers. More specifically, they see the potential in things, and put energy and momentum behind making ideas into opportunities. Steve Jobs is the perfect example of an Entrepreneur. He was also a skilled Technician in his own right. That’s what put him in the path of Steve Wozniak, another brilliant Technician.

When Jobs saw the Apple I prototype that Wozniak had created, his Entrepreneur brain kicked into gear and he saw an opportunity to do something much bigger than tinker around as hobbyists. Wozniak, a Technician by nature took some convincing to venture into entrepreneurial waters. Eventually Jobs convinced him, and they went into business together. Interestingly, all three E-Myth roles were present during the founding of Apple.

Yes, Apple had three founders. Steve Jobs was the Entrepreneur – the visionary and dreamer, the one who saw an opportunity and acted on it. Steve Wozniak was the Technician, the maker – he was the brains and brawn behind the machine. Lastly, there was Ronald Wayne – the forgotten founder of Apple. He was the self proclaimed “adult supervision” behind the venture, or in terms of the E-Myth Roles – the Manager.

It’s important to note, that even though all three roles were clearly represented, no one was limited only to the responsibilities of their roles. Wozniak built the hardware, circuit boards, and operating system, but he also functioned as a visionary in the design process with Jobs. Wayne didn’t just “supervise,” but he did his own fair share of work – he created their first logo, wrote their original partnership agreement, and the Apple I manual.

Steve Jobs didn’t just blindly chase an entrepreneurial dream – he actively recruited the right kind of talent to fill all the needed roles of the company. Whether he knew instinctively, or it was just a lucky coincidence – having the Entrepreneur, Manager, and Technician present during the founding of the company definitely contributed to their longterm success.

“Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.” – Proverbs 22:29 (ESV)

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