Intrapreneur vs. Entrepreneur: Which One is Best?

There’s lots of talk these days about the differences of being an Entrepreneur vs. an Intrapreneur. An Intrapreneur is someone that is working on an entrepreneurial venture from inside a big company so s/he is offered some differences vs. the traditional entrepreneur out on his/her own.

On the surface it could sound like one is much better than the other but as you start to dig into the two there also appears to be lots of similarities or balances between them. Of course, there are a number of personal decision and personality traits that come into play when deciding which is best, but I thought I would start a little comparison between the two on some of the more external factors.

Factor Intrapreneur Entrepreneur Winner
Risk Low.  There are other jobs in the company they would want you for, and you’re more valuable because of that experience High. Could lose everything you own. Intra
Reward Your paycheck, maybe a promo No limit Entre
Politics Usually more than you could ever imagine or want None, you’re your own boss Entre
Cost Company’s money Your money (or your investor’s or your credit, etc) Intra
Time Standard work hours.  Or, if you’re passionate about the idea then same as an entrepreneur. Usually every minute you’re not sleeping or w/ family Intra or Tie
Freedom Little: see politics.  Some: if you really are good at designing it so you can stay away from the regular Corporate process. All: you decide how much freedom you want.  None: you’re tied to your business. Entre or Tie

So what other factors should we consider?  Should we weight them to see which the most important factors are?  Ultimately, it’s a personal decision.  The important part is to know that both exist so know there is a decision to make.

Matt Kane

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