Build an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem The Startup Community Way

Last week I had the opportunity to join an Endeavor Zoom meeting with Brad Feld to talk about his updated and revised book The Startup Community Way: Evolving an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem. Brad’s predecessor book, Startup Communities, was excellent and something that I read back in 2012. For the previous book, my main takeaway was that startup communities must be lead by the entrepreneurs. Top-down government- lead entrepreneurial efforts don’t work, getting bogged down by different agendas and struggle to ignite the necessary sparks. Entrepreneur-lead communities work because entrepreneurs are more resourceful and innovative — as expected.

From Brad’s talk, the biggest addition to the new book is a focus on startup communities as complex systems, and digging into to what it means to be a complex system in the ecosystem context.

From Wikipedia on complex systems:

A complex system is a system composed of many components which may interact with each other.

Complex systems are systems whose behavior is intrinsically difficult to model due to the dependencies, competitions, relationships, or other types of interactions between their parts or between a given system and its environment.

Thinking about startup ecosystems in the complex system theory feels right. An event over here, groups over there, entrepreneurs everywhere, and without prompting it, magic happens.

A startup is formed by people who met through the community.

A startup achieves a breakthrough with the help of a stranger.

Personally, I’ve seen this so many times that I know it works.

I’m looking forward to reading Brad Feld’s new book when it comes out next week.

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