"4 Simplified Principles Of Successful Idea Entrepreneurs"

1) Typically, entrepreneurs attack only one problem, or a second closely related one, for a simple reason: it improves the experiment’s chances of success. Later, this also improves the chances of replicating it.

2) Also typically, entrepreneurs pick the low-hanging fruit because easier problems yield less expensive lessons. Containing the costs of change helps entrepreneurs overcome the systemic obstacles that carry-over from our 20th Century ways.

Here is an increasingly common example. Solving it can be a strategic advantage that Chicagoland has over, say, Phoenix (at least nine months a year.) Let’s say a developer on the suburban edge knows their most profitable products were townhomes. Since entry-level buyers increasingly cannot afford the higher transportation costs of outlying neighborhoods with their sprawling infrastructure, the developer proposes some promising infill in an older neighborhood near the old downtown where limited revitalization is now stalled by the real estate depression. But the zoning does not allow apartment buildings or condos. This situation could be low-hanging fruit, but is not initially due to zoning laws and neighborly NIMBYism. Progress needs a push.

This problem is widespread; making it strategic. CMAP discovered in its research for The 2040 Plan that well over half of municipalities are guided by Comprehensive Plans that are almost a decade old. And if you accept the fair assumption that the current real estate depression has caused a fundamental change in th requires more compact land uses, then very few neighborhoods are guided by a realistic plan for redeveloping for the 21st Century.

3) To get over these obstacles, developers need the credibility of nonprofit organizations to say that the proposed innovation is the “right thing to do.” Typically that comes from trade associations. For redevelopment, the ULI and APA as described below both educate their members and public officials.

4) Sometimes simultaneous with an association providing credibility, the entrepreneur starts working with the regional synthesizer to discover how this project (or future ones) can more easily overcome the multiple obstacles to change. As in our example, the resistance to compact redevelopment actually is an opportunity to argue that the changes can yield multiple benefits (typically by lowering infrastructure and public service costs, while raising property values.)



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