A Garage and an Idea: What More Does an Entrepreneur Need?

by Pino Audia, Christopher Rider

Fall 2005

Volume 48
Issue 1

Full Article Browse Issue



There exists a common belief that entrepreneurs commonly start businesses in garages (or basements or dorm rooms or kitchens). The garage entrepreneur is a highly popular contemporary legend, but not quite accurate. An emergent notion in academic research is that entrepreneurs are often organizational products. They typically acquire confidence, business knowledge, and social connections via prior experience at existing organizations. These psychological and social resources aid entrepreneurs in forming companies. Although the belief of the garage entrepreneur contributes to the preservation of the American ideals of opportunity and upward social mobility, it offers misleading insights to would-be entrepreneurs because it suggests an undersocialized view of the entrepreneurial process. Individuals, companies, policy makers, and business schools will benefit from recasting the garage as a contemporary legend and focusing instead on the lessons that can be derived from an understanding of entrepreneurs as organizational products.

California Management Review

Berkeley-Haas's Premier Management Journal

Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

Learn more
Follow Us