Doers and Ideators as Entrepreneur Archetypes

Earlier today I was talking to a successful entrepreneur and we got into detail about our backgrounds. At one point he offered up that he was a doer entrepreneur and not an ideator entrepreneur. When presented with a challenge or opportunity he plows right through it, but coming up with new products or business ideas isn’t his thing. He values the ideas founder while realizing he’s better off playing to his strength as a doer.

Now, entrepreneurs in general are doers and love to get stuff done. Some ideator entrepreneurs are more head-in-the-clouds type people that are always dreaming up the next scheme, and for them they either need to turn on the doer switch or partner up with someone else that’s got more doer and less ideator in them. Either way, the world needs all types.

For those interested in entrepreneur interviews, Michael Tavani has a great series of videos online called On Doers at ondoers.com. Tavani clearly understands the doer nature of founders and is great at asking sharp questions.

The next time you talk to an entrepreneur, dig in and find out their archetype — are they more doer or ideator.

What else? What are your thoughts on differentiating entrepreneurs as doers and ideators?

6 thoughts on “Doers and Ideators as Entrepreneur Archetypes

  1. Chuck Blakeman adds third dimension to that: the process driven people. These are the guys that make your business scale but might have trouble in making it work initially as they are averse to risk.

    In his categorization doers map to “product driven” and ideators to “market driven”. According to him in order to become a good business leader you need characteristics of each. As you said, in practice you tend to be one type more than others.

    Chuck explains more about this type of thinking in his book Making Money is Killing Your Business. Based on the idea he has created something known as Apex Profile that allows you to identify your characteristics.

  2. Exploiting systems that already exist and having them benefit you in a particular way involves some creativity. I believe that Doers are simply a different form of ideators. They analyze different processes in order to discover what the best system would be for their particular need.

  3. Funny. I was just talking about this with someone yesterday. I feel like I’m probably 70% doer and 30% ideator. Probably correlated, I’m about 70/30 left brain/right brain as well. I think individually there are strengths and weaknesses to both approaches. The pure ideator doesn’t always have the most grounded ideas that make sense in terms of business value or the ability to execute. But they can also come up with the most innovative ideas that have the ability to blow up.

    The doer will typically come up with sounds ideas that are highly focused, but may also be more conservative and not as likely to be ahead of the curve. Now this doesn’t mean a doer can’t be innovative or an ideator can’t have a sound idea. Just an observation I’ve noticed on tendencies.

    I think the best entrepreneurs know what type they are and align themselves with partners who can strike a balance to the organization to make them stronger.

  4. Funny. I was just talking about this with someone yesterday. I feel like I’m probably 70% doer and 30% ideator. Probably correlated, I’m about 70/30 left brain/right brain as well. I think individually there are strengths and weaknesses to both approaches. The pure ideator doesn’t always have the most grounded ideas that make sense in terms of business value or the ability to execute. But they can also come up with the most innovative ideas that have the ability to blow up.

    The doer will typically come up with sounds ideas that are highly focused, but may also be more conservative and not as likely to be ahead of the curve. Now this doesn’t mean a doer can’t be innovative or an ideator can’t have a sound idea. Just an observation I’ve noticed on tendencies.

    I think the best entrepreneurs know what type they are and align themselves with partners who can strike a balance to the organization to make them stronger.

  5. I don’t know many – if any – successful entrepreneurs that have been more “ideator” than “doer.” I don’t see much room for pure “idea people” in the early startup days.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.