IDEXX Founder David E Shaw on Entrepreneurship & Greenlight Maine
by David E Shaw
I’m pleased to support Greenlight Maine as a movement to promote the growth of entrepreneurial businesses in Maine.
After starting my career in writing, public service and strategy consulting, I feel extraordinarily fortunate to have discovered the opportunity to enrich lives and create value in the world through business and social entrepreneurship. Two formative experiences in my career as an entrepreneur have been building IDEXX Laboratory and assisting in the transformation of The Jackson Laboratory over the past several decades. It’s particularly rewarding for me that these two great game-changing experiences occurred in my home state of Maine where there has sometimes been a sense that entrepreneurship is more difficult that in other locations. I have now had the opportunity to play a leadership role in many other entrepreneurial success stories in Maine and globally.
We live in a golden age of entrepreneurship, surrounded every day by examples of new ventures that have dramatically impacted our world. I have been particularly attracted to opportunities that harness the power of new technology to create vast benefits in healthcare, nutrition, quality of life, environmental quality, communications and other sectors.
The most important success factor in most entrepreneurial ventures is attitude. Successful entrepreneurial ventures are passionate, tribal enterprises characterized by exceptional levels of team work, persistence, resilience, adaptability and a focus on converting great ideas to great products and services. Entrepreneurial cultures usually challenge the conventional wisdom of what can be done and how things are done. They seek to understand, “what does great look like?” and they understand that good is often the enemy of great. As just one example, the founding team at IDEXX, operating with meager resources, overcame early product failures and disappointments, and put lessons learned in those experiences to build the world’s leading enterprise in its business.
I’m proud to have played a leadership role at IDEXX, as founder, and hope that the success of IDEXX and other similar ventures provides inspiration and a bright green light for a new generation of entrepreneurship in Maine.