Being an entrepreneur is one of the most critical and inspiring experience and preparation to become the CIO in 21st century, to fit in Gartner well-defined 6 styles of "money-making" CIOs: entrepreneur CIO, revenue search CIO, business development CIO, cost-optimization CIO and Innovation CIO, and the last one: public-serving CIO (even you are not working in public service, every CIO could be the natural leader to serve the public and the world for better), why:
1. Being entrepreneur, you have to wear different hats, which teach you to think from different angles, from customer's perspective, take vendor's shoes, be thoughtful for the employees and many more;
2. Being entrepreneur to inspire you think without border: since you have to work cross the function, cross the organization, many of us may also need work cross-industry, and cross-culture, cross-nation, etc.
3. Being entrepreneur to make your skin thicker: "Thicker skin is God's gift", every entrepreneur may have the experience to approach the customer boldly, not necessarily shameless though, so either your pursuing Martin Luther Kings "I have the dream" or Steve Job's "Sell the dream", it truly provoke your courage;
4. Being entrepreneur, you have not only surviving but also try to thriving, so the revenue search, business development and innovation are your daily job, that's great preparation for becoming the unconventional CIO today, but it will be the new normal for tomorrow's CIO and many other senior executives in larger enterprise.
In summary, no matter what CIO stand for: chief information officer, chief innovation officer, chief integration officer, chief inspiration officer, chief implementation officer., etc, the shining spot is the entrepreneur's spirit, even it stand for: the career is over --it's also not so scary, since being an entrepreneur CIO could refresh your dream, rekindle your energy and rebuild your asset.