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Wharton Emeritus Professor Peter Linneman explains one of the challenges of working for an entrepreneurial smaller company.
PETER LINNEMAN: A lot of people say, oh, so-and-so is a great entrepreneur. They’re really terrific. And I really want to work for them– young people. And it can be a challenge working in a small, entrepreneurial form. They can be great at what they do. They can know exactly what they’re about. They can be better at what they do than a bigger firm, in many cases.
The problem is if they’re not looking to grow– I’m real happy owning four properties and managing the daylights out of them, and getting every inch of profit out of them, and having the right people to work with me that I’m happy to have work with me every day when I come to work– that could be the situation. So it’s a great group of people with a lot of knowledge and ability. The problem is there’s no place for you as a young individual to grow in that firm.
Since they are not growing as a firm, they’re already staffed. They don’t need new people. Unless somebody dies or leaves, they don’t need new people. They’re already fully staffed. And even if you are a new person and you come in, say, at an analyst level– well, what do you do once you’ve learned everything you can learn as an analyst?
They’re not growing. They’re already staffed above you There’s no place to grow into. So they can be tough situations for young people in that, they’re very attractive at one level, but not so great an opportunity the other. It’s a delicate balance.