Ender’s Startup? Building Greatness In Entrepreneur Communities

By May 29, 2013

A promotional image from the upcoming movie Ender’s Game, as seen on Facebook.

In Ender’s Game with the survival of humanity on the line, the human race has decided to raise super soldiers from birth in the pursuit of nurturing the perfect leader.  The author goes to extremes to show how much could be done to intentionally cultivate human greatness to the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci or Alexander the Great.

Sound interesting? This best-selling, award-winning novel from 1985 is about to be released on the big screen this November, and it got me thinking about startups. As you know, many entrepreneur communities are also in feverish pursuit of rare greatness.

It is an unfortunate truth that high-growth technology startups are a hit-making business like sports, music and modern art. The fantastic results associated with a rare few companies and founders shape the dreams and goals of startups and their investors around the world.

It is not uncommon to hear a comment in the press around some entrepreneur event casually citing how someone in their backyard is going to create the next Google or Facebook. This begs the question: What should entrepreneur communities be doing to cultivate extreme greatness?

I think too many people think they have the secret insight or winning formula that will give them the edge. Every community has a mix of strengths and weaknesses, talents and resources, veterans and fresh thinkers.

The only “cheat code” I have seen work time and time again is to improve entrepreneurs access to each other.  More than anything, entrepreneurs need other entrepreneurs. Cultivating a tight human network of entrepreneurs and those who support them is the only universal and scalable method to increase entrepreneur success.

An entrepreneur’s pursuit of success binds people together.  The process is art mixed with science, and many of the necessary lessons are transferred culturally.  There is no reproducible method for an entrepreneur to learn everything it takes to be successful.  A culture of greatness cultivated among a community of entrepreneurs is the ultimate breeding ground to produce asymmetric individual success.

Do you want to see greatness in your entrepreneur community? Encourage others, share resources, communicate needs, broadcast success, and speak up when you need help. This is the stuff entrepreneur communities are made of. Regardless of your ending, that is where entrepreneurial greatness starts.

What do you think? Do you see any parallels to startup communities and the upcoming movie Ender’s Game? Here’s a preview if you haven’t seen it yet:


About the Author: Israel Vicars

Israel Vicars manages operations at Evtron, a hardware startup making servers way more efficient. Israel previously worked as a partner of an early stage tech VC and as a staff member and entrepreneur with incubators in New York, Detroit, and Ann Arbor.