Last night I went to hear Canadian billionaire Seymour Schulich speak about his new book called Get Smarter-Life & Business Lessons at the Indigo Entrepreneur Series.
I read through about half of the book in one sitting last night (296 pages with 49 chapters) ( BTW,each chapter is only 3-4 pages of condensed wisdom).
In chapter 4 --"Jobs to seek and those to avoid", Schulich suggests that entrepreneurs work for someone before venturing into business themselves to get that much-needed experience.
He suggests finding work in industries with high profit margins and says to avoid the following (....but without providing any relevant comparative data):
- auto parts
- biotechnology ( I would disagree here...the industry has a 22-23% profit margin on average .....wd... see chart & story on Biotech below)
- grocery stores
- machinery manufacturing
- paper and forest products
- auto manufacturing
- appliance manufacturing
- any manufacturing competing with China ( ..and India I assume too)
- telecom services
Well that seems to be more then 95% of all Canadian business...I'm assuming that he would give the same advise to entrepreneurs wishing to enter these business sectors too.
He did advise to stay out of any field that India and China is likely to dominate. In the resource sector he recommended diamonds, oil, coal and platinum, all resources that Chindia (China & India) lack or need to buy.
He adds in the book:
"Don't misunderstand me. You may be able to find fulfillment and a rewarding career in the above...[..]...but you are more likely to find satisfaction and superior financial rewards in industries with superior economics."
He didn't mention anything about Nanotechnology in his book or his talk, which could easily become Canada's new resource sector. I'd be interested in what he has to say to Rotman business students and what advise he gives to researchers at MaRS dd at the University of Toronto when he speaks to these groups this term.
Here's an recent industry profit margin chart for several US Industries.
"There are over 5,000 Specialised Biotechnology Firms (SBFs) in the world, out of which at least 1500 are in the USA, 400 in Canada, and a similar number in the UK.
Within this group of SBFs rapid growth is concentrated in some 10 per cent of the firms. This paper compares the growth patterns of SBFs in the USA and the UK, and with the previous results for Canada. These three countries represent nearly 50 per cent of SBFs in the world. By combining several different databases, the paper reveals the determining factors of SBF growth in the two leading countries. Using correlation and logistic regressions for each country, we found that five factors (patents, the targeting of human health products and processes, the support of venture capital, R&D and marketing corporate alliances, and the search for world markets) explain most of the growth of these firms. "
Source: Int. J. Biotechnology, Vol. 9, No. 1, 2007
Get full paper here >>[...]
Walter Derzko -"Changing the world, one idea at a time"©
Walter Derzko teaches at the Certificate Program on Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Toronto, School of Continuing Studies, which starts in the Fall of 2007
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