However, the skepticism with which intrapreneurs are received by ‘true’ entrepreneurs makes some sense. Their biggest arguments:
- True entrepreneurs take true financials risks. In comparison, salaried intrapreneurs are bathing in luxurious security.
- True entrepreneurs built their start-ups themselves, stone by stone. Intrapreneurs can rely on the services of their company for virtually all overhead tasks.
- >True entrepreneurs are driven by their passion, their mission. Since the work of intrapreneurs will ultimately benefit their employer, their drive would be much less.
On the other side: you have one or two kids that are still in an expensive daycare. You just built the house of your dream –with an expensive mortgage. You enjoy having two or three weeks of holiday to discover exotic places. You have some hobbies that are not necessarily expensive, but that require some investments.
So you have the choice: either you (1) repress your entrepreneurial dreams, work hard from 9 to 5 and try to have a fulfilling life next to it (that’s so generation babyboomer), or (2) you try to combine things and test your ideas in your free hours, or even within your company (that’s so genX), or (3) you take the risk and chase your dream (that’s so… ehm…).
Is there a middle way? Well, yes: become an intrapreneur. Let’s be honest, this is just a fresh term for something that exists since modern corporations were born. Any innovative project that was launched and managed by an employee could be seen as an act of intrapreneurship. Nevertheless, it diserves a term on its own, especially now given the vital importance of innovation in corporate life nowadays. In a time where new business models redesign complete markets you’d better be pro-active and redesign it yourself. And therefore you need… yes: intrapreneurs.