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Is Starting a Business an Art or a Science?

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This story appears in the March 2012 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Business as Art

Fact: Entrepreneurship is an irrational pursuit. Founding a company--much less one that could "change the world"--entails insane amounts of risk, ridiculously low chances of success and zero work-life balance.

Nevertheless, the value of risk-taking is incalculable, insists Steve Blank, professor of entrepreneurship at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, who pioneered the Lean LaunchPad course that the National Science Foundation adopted for its new incubator boot camp, I-Corps. Blank started a total of eight technology companies--two of them massive failures, one that set him up for life--before turning his attention to the next generation of visionaries, to whom he's been extolling the virtues of embracing his particular brand of irrationality.

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