Is entrepreneurship an art or a science? Does founding and leading a company require finesse, gut feel, some degree of luck, or does it rely more on careful planning, surgical execution and detailed and constant reevaluation? The book “The Art and Science of Entrepreneurship” by Inderjit Singh attempts to answer the question even as he shares his lessons learned as an entrepreneur himself.
Author Inderjit Singh is perhaps the strange hybrid of a successful public figure – the Singapore-based founder of several successful startups such as United Test And Assembly Centre (UTAC) and Infiniti Solutions happens to also be a politician as a Singapore Member of Parliament. As such he’s had the opportunity to help shape public policy in Singapore’s business landscape and spur entrepreneurship, as well as leading it by example.
The book is essentially split into three sections. The first section looks into the minds of entrepreneurs – the ‘art’ part of entrepreneurship – and discusses the traits he believes makes a good entrepreneur. Here Singh delves into issues like passion, as well as describing the realities that an entrepreneur is likely to encounter during the entrepreneurship journey. You’ll read, for example, about ‘The Three Mantras’ in the mindset of an entrepreneur – “Have A Winning Spirit”, “Aim High, But Be Prepared For The Worst”, “There Is No Shortcut To Success”. It’s not stuff you’ve not heard before in other entrepreneurship books, but a new or aspiring entrepreneur may need some reminder.
The second section shares more the ‘science’ part of entrepreneurship, where he takes the reader through the process of actually starting and building a company, including topics like making a business plan, how to go about fundraising, working with investors.In fact, an entire section is devoted to helping you understand how to put together a business plan, from writing an executive summary to working out a marketing plan.
The final section repeats much of what’s covered in the earlier sections – as Singh admits in the introduction, much of the book is derived from material originally meant for other use (in speeches and talks he’s given, for example), and is put here to supplement the earlier lessons.
Much of what’s inside isn’t new, and parts of it can read like a business textbook, but Singh’s examples from his own entrepreneurial journey makes heartening reading. And the takeaway from the book? The successful entrepreneur masters both the art and the science of being an entrepreneur. It’s not one or the other.