Evidence continues to pour in showing that the “pendulum of innovation” is swinging away from entrepreneurs and toward intrapreneurs. This latest example comes in the form of a wide-ranging generational attitude survey conducted by Millennial Branding and Monster.com. The authors polled some 2,800 Monster users and found that the workforce belong to Generation Y are more likely to seek gainful employment and be intrapreneurs than they are to start their own companies.
The results of the questionnaire shows that 28 percent of Gen Y respondents identified with being “high risk.” This is compared to a massive 40 percent of Gen X and a similar 43 percent of Boomers who self-identified as being risk takers. The disparity between generations plays out again when looking at entrepreneurial spirit. 32 percent of Gen Y workers considered themselves to be entrepreneurial compared to 41 percent of Gen X employees and 45 percent of Boomers.
Many news outlets – especially valley-focused websites – have viewed this report as dour news and are reporting it in a negative light. We here at LuckyRobot view it differently. What we see is the pendulum continue to swing toward large corporations as the engine of innovation and growth. We view this small study as further evidence of rise of the corporation to a preeminent position in attracting the best and the brightest.
We think the corporation should win. They have the resources, the audience, and the clout. While books, movies, and recently terrible television shows have attempted to glorify the life of entrepreneurs, those of us that have lived through it know how unglamorous living off ramen and re-used tea bags really is. Startups have to struggle to simultaneously raise money, attract customers, hire the right staff, and scale successfully; corporations have solved those problems, and have generally only the single hurdle of aligning people. For sure this has stymied a huge amount of projects, maybe just as many as have died in an entrepreneur’s basement. But we’d bet on the group with the fewer things to struggle against any day.
If Generation Y truly is more likely to seek out large companies for their employment, they are going to be bringing their incredible creativity and global outlook with them. This means that the next decade of corporate America are going to be very interesting. It’s never too early to start casting leads for the big blockbuster intrapreneurial movie coming out summer 2019.