Two of the world’s best known entrepreneurs are Bill Gates, founder and chairman of Microsoft, and Sir Richard Branson, founder and CEO of the Virgin Group. While both have been extremely successful as entrepreneurs, their personal styles could not be more different. Richard Branson is known for his self-promotion and media savviness, whereas Bill Gates is relatively low key in spite of being the second richest man in the world.
For this assignment, first carefully review the background materials and study up on the key “textbook” traits of entrepreneurs that frequently come up in the readings. Common characteristics of an entrepreneur include such aspects as risk taking, self-confidence, future orientation, etc. Then do some reading on Richard Branson and Bill Gates. Here are some articles to get you started:
Specter, M. (2007, May 14). Branson’s luck; profiles. The New Yorker, 83, 114-125.
Virgin galactic was a total punt, says Richard Branson. (2013, Oct 08). Telegraph.Co.Uk.
Crow, D. (2008, Jul). The real legacy of Bill Gates. Spectator Business, 44-45.
Cheng, Y., & Liu, Y. (2011, Dec 08). Bill Gates envisions nuclear future for China. McClatchy – Tribune Business News.
Once you have finished reviewing the required background materials on entrepreneurial traits and finished your research on Gates and Branson, write a 4- to 5-page paper addressing the following questions:
- Which key traits of entrepreneurs that you found in the readings do Richard Branson and Bill Gates have? Are there any key traits or characteristics mentioned in the readings that Richard Branson and Bill Gates do not seem to have? Refer to the specific entrepreneurial traits and characteristics discussed in the Background readings.
- What type of entrepreneurs are Richard Branson and Bill Gates? Refer to the five classifications of entrepreneurs from McMillan (2011).
- Overall what do you think the key similarities and differences are in the entrepreneurial styles and characteristics of Richard Branson and Bill Gates?