top of page

Why You Feel Left Behind In The Era Of Digital Entrepreneurship, And What Can You Do About It

Written by: Dr. Shahram Maralani, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Digital Entrepreneurs are often recognized by their ability to harness the reach and power of the internet to offer products and services for profit. But today, Digital Entrepreneurship has gone beyond building an online business, and become an ability crucial for all professionals including entrepreneurs as well as intrapreneurs. In this article, I explore why you may feel left behind and how you can bridge your competence gap in the era of digital entrepreneurship.

woman working on her laptop outside.

What is Digital Entrepreneurship


Let us start by finding out what is the digital entrepreneurship meaning, and who is a digital entrepreneur. From among different definitions, I find this one from International Business School in Barcelona the best. “A digital entrepreneur harnesses the reach and power of the internet in order to offer products and services for profit. They possess all the characteristics of a traditional entrepreneur – vision, determination, persistence, and creativity – but also a number of other key traits.”


Digital entrepreneurs pursue online businesses, offer different kind of products and services, and use innovative ways of funding and marketing. Common digital entrepreneurship businesses include e-commerce, creative sector, and advisory. Other well-known digital entrepreneurship examples include webshop, authorship businesses publishing books and e-books, social media marketing services, online training, digital content creation, and other digital services.


My definition of a digital entrepreneur is however slightly different. To me, Digital Entrepreneurship is to simply be able to do thing digitally, and digital entrepreneurs are those who can create value by getting things done in a more efficient or effective way using digital enablers.


Why You Should Become a Digital Entrepreneur


Digital entrepreneurship is an ability to use digital tools and technologies in solving business problems. Being it creation of an online business, digitalizing an existing business, or improving and automating business processes, digital entrepreneurs use available digital solutions to address the business challenges they and their company face.


It was said in the past that literacy is about generic literacy, language literacy (especially English), and basic computer literacy. Today, the basic computer literacy is an expectation to any citizen, especially those living in cities and more digitalized societies. What could have created an edge in one’s competence a decade ago, is no longer an advantage, but a hygiene factor.


All industries are in the process of digital transformation. More and more, business processes and systems become automated and use more advanced technologies to operate and serve their customers. Professionals working in these industries need to have a great level of understanding about these digital solutions and their enabling technologies. This is the only way to stay relevant in the professional market, being a business owner or working in the corporate world. People with specialist career path can pursue their professional developments by becoming an expert in a particular technology or platform. Generalist on the other hand, can follow their professional development by increasing their competence in business strategy and digital transformation.



Digital Entrepreneur and Digital Intrapreneur


Entrepreneurship is the creation or extraction of economic value (Wikipedia). Professionals who use different means to create and extract economic value are all part of a business. In that sense, intrapreneurs are no exception. Great intrapreneurs are in fact entrepreneurs who happen to work for a corporation. That is why, the importance of digital entrepreneurship is not only limited to business owners. Professionals working in the corporate world must pursue a similar path, increasing their knowledge and skills about digital enablers for businesses. Digital entrepreneurship for business owners is about their competitiveness and survival in the digital world in front of them. For intrapreneurs on the other hand, digital entrepreneurship is about staying relevant to their current and future employers. For them, digital entrepreneurship is the enabler to go beyond their traditional professional expertise and act more like an entrepreneur. Digital knowledge and skills can also provide both groups, opportunities to pivot to a new business or a new career, if that becomes a spotted opportunity or a necessity.


How to Become a Digital Entrepreneur


Elon Musk is no-one ordinary. Becoming the richest person on the planet through his at times groundbreaking and even controversial ventures and acts, he is far from being easily followable. But he can well be a source of inspirations for any professional. Elon would read two books per day in various disciplines, starting from his early teenage years. Fast learning in a very wide range of disciplines opened his mind to think out of (any) box. Some of us may not want or have the intellectual capacity to be like him (at least I know I don’t). But to become and stay a digital entrepreneur, expending our understanding and knowledge in certain domains is crucial. To be able to do so, one need to train his brain to be able to think and have a relatively good opinion about certain topics, and to be able to answer to questions like the ones below.

  • How does X work? (replace X with any subject in business or technology)

  • How does business Y operate? (replace Y with any business you come across)

  • What competitive advantages does business Y rely on?

  • What is the role of the business model they use in creating those competitive advantages?

  • What is their primary business strategy?

  • What kind of technologies (especially digital technologies) do they use in (a) creating and offering their products and services (b) creating and enhancing the customer experience (c) improving and automating their business and its processes?

Ability to answer to these questions is what distinguishes a digital entrepreneur from other professionals and the wider crowd. To be able to educate yourself to answer these questions for any business, you need to increase your knowledge about various domains, at least the ones below.

  • Top technological developments and trends (especially the few close to your domain as a specialist or a range of them for you as a generalist)

  • Business strategy fundamentals, terminology, models, and techniques

  • Business processes, how are they created, operated, analyzed, and improved

  • New businesses and how their genuine ideas have been shaped using new technologies or business models, or both

Conclusion


Digital Entrepreneurs are recognized by their ability to harness the reach and power of the internet to offer products and services for profit. Digital Entrepreneurship of today has however gone beyond building an online business and has become an ability crucial for all professionals including entrepreneurs as well as intrapreneurs. Today, Digital Entrepreneurship is about the ability to create value by getting things done in a more efficient or effective way using digital enablers.


With digital transformation affecting all industries, business processes and systems become automated and use more advanced technologies. Professionals need to have a great level of understanding about these business processes and their digital technologies. For business owners, this understanding and knowledge is to create their competitiveness and survival in this digital world. For intrapreneurs on the other hand, digital entrepreneurship is about staying relevant to their current and future employers, going beyond their traditional professional expertise, and acting more like an entrepreneur. Digital knowledge and skills can also provide both groups, opportunities to pivot to a new business or a new career, if that becomes a spotted opportunity or a necessity.


Expending your understanding and knowledge in certain domains is crucial in bridging your competence gap digital entrepreneurship. General curiosity on how things work, interest and skills on how successful and modern businesses of various sizes operate, the business models, and knowledge on business strategies and digital technologies they use, are among those domains. Following technological trends and developments, learning business strategy terminology and fundamentals, business models and techniques, acquiring the ability to analyze and understand business processes, how are they created, operated, analyzed, and improved and upskilling yourself to be able to figure out how genuine businesses ideas have been shaped are some of the key learning areas in the path to become a digital entrepreneur.


 

Online Business Builders Club


Online Business Builders Club (OBB Club) is a membership program for people with passion to ideate, build, and transform businesses using digital technologies. Our mission is to enable founders and owners of small businesses including solo entrepreneurs. We help them understand the possibilities they have in creating digital businesses or digitalizing their existing businesses using available solutions and tools in the market.


The Founder of Online Business Builders Club is Dr. Shahram Maralani who has more than two decades of experience as a Corporate Leader. He is also an Author, Public Speaker, and Business Mentor, helping entrepreneurs establish & digitalize their businesses.


His mission is “To help thousands of entrepreneurs shape, and operate online businesses", as part of their portfolio career, or as their main occupation.


To learn more about OBB Club, visit our website here.


To contact the author, you can send him a message on his LinkedIn profile.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


 

Dr. Shahram Maralani, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Dr. Shahram Maralani is a Corporate Leader with more than twenty-five years of experience in a wide range of disciplines and across multiple industries and geographies. He is also an Author, a Business Mentor, and a Professional Speaker. Shahram is currently senior vice president and chief digital officer in Nemko Group A/S. In addition, he helps entrepreneurs to establish and develop Online Businesses. He is the author of the book “Build an online business in 24 hours”.


コメント


CURRENT ISSUE

  • linkedin-brainz
  • facebook-brainz
  • instagram-04

CHANNELS

bottom of page