What is the difference between a business and an entrepreneurial venture?

I have written before that the great Indian dream is to run a side business.

Entrepreneur or Businesswoman?

Yesterday I was reading (skimming) a book by Jim McKelvey called The Innovation Stack.

In an interview Jim was asked if he would start an entrepreneurial venture now and what his advice to a young entrepreneur would be.

Understand if you’re an entrepreneur or a business person. Business people are more likely to be successful and make money because they’re doing something that’s already been done before. So a business person would copy another successful business, and that’s how business is done and money is made. If you’re an entrepreneur, then you’re doing something that hasn’t been done and might not work. So it’s a lot riskier, and the rules almost totally change in that world. Understand which world you’re in.

Interview with Jim by Polina

Be an entrepreneurial business person

While I understand the sentiment, I would characterize it a little differently. Entrepreneurs are doing something new and exciting but they are also trying to build a business. No entrepreneur starts off thinking “This is a venture that I dont want to be successful or make money”.

In fact, I think most entrepreneurs are looking to innovate and make money. Business people on the other hand are arbitrageurs.

An arbitrageur attempts to profit from market inefficiencies.

Both entrepreneurs and business people are trying to solve a problem. While the entrepreneur might be looking to solve a problem with a new solution, the business person might look at solutions that exist already.

What do you think?