Whatever the headlines predict these days, there may still be good news for entrepreneurs. Many successful products, services, and pivotal ideas have been launched during an economic lull, according to Bhaskar Chakravorti, a senior lecturer of business administration at Harvard Business School, citing the examples of Motorola, Southwest Airlines, Revlon cosmetics, Hewlett-Packard, and MTV.
Good ideas are not hard to come by. The more complicated part is to harness the diminishing supply of capital. But capital can still find its way to a credible idea, he argues.
“I have high hopes tempered with great caution,” says Chakravorti. “The entrepreneurs who can capture the limited resources have the potential to do well. Shortage and adversity are powerful stimuli for focusing the mind.”
At HBS, Chakravorti teaches and writes on entrepreneurship management, new venture formation, and innovation. He is also a partner of the international management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, where he is a leader of its Innovation practice. Chakravorti has advised over 30 Fortune 500 companies on innovation, growth, and new business-building in industries such as technology, health and consumer care, and renewable energy. His scope of work to date encompasses the United States, the European Union, Brazil, India, Malaysia, South Korea, Philippines, Canada, and multiple African countries.