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The extraordinary transformation, since the early 1990s, in the potential for individuals to influence the business world reflects an unprecedented shift in what is possible. Just a few years ago, most go-it-alone businesses could not have existed or had far more limited potential for profits and growth. We have entered a new era for individual entrepreneurs.

This chapter is divided into four parts. The first part—“More on Central Operating Principles”—explains in greater detail two central operating principles of successful go-it-alone businesses: extreme outsourcing and a relentless focus on enhancement. The second—“The Evolution of the Plug-and-Play Economy”—then discusses the permanent and continuing changes in our economic environment that created the opportunity for these businesses to thrive. The third—“The New Specialization”—addresses the growing role specialization in the economy plays in fostering go-it-alone entities. The final—“Implications of the Hidden Revolu-tion”—describes some of the implications of this new business environment for go-it-alone entrepreneurs.

This chapter has three purposes: First, to provide you with a clear understanding of the underlying principles that make go-it-alone businesses work. Second, to explain the changes occurring in entrepreneurship. Third, to show how go-it-alone businesses can take advantage of new marketplace dynamics.

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GO IT ALONE! Copyright 2004 by Bruce Judson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.