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The Despair of Entrepreneurship Professors are perennially popular but doomed business ideas

One of the most dreaded aspects of being an entrepreneurship professor are the hundreds of times that students will come up with the same – bad – business concept when tasked with building businesses of their own.  A perennial favorite is dog-walking services.  Comes up every semester!  Now, I don’t have a problem with dogs or dog walkers, just with a Columbia MBA deciding to put the degree to use in that occupation – doesn’t make much sense.

Of course, every so often a bright idea comes along that defies the common wisdom of the entrepreneurship professor.  Just such an inspiration appears to have visited our colleagues over at the Kellogg School, as I read the following story from Business Week.

The lap of luxury

Quoting Business Week February 4, 2008 page 18:

Dogs of Chicago, rejoice. If your owner flies out of O’Hare International Airport, you can wait out the trip at a posh spot nearby-catching Animal Planet on a flat-screen TV and splashing in a dogbone-shaped pool. Paradise 4 Paws, a 24/7 “pet hotel,” will open a few miles from O’Hare on Mar. 1. The facility, which will also board cats, grew out of a 2005 entrepreneurship class at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. (Students modeled P4P after a popular pet hotel near Japan’s Kansai International Airport.) Customers will pay up to $75 a night for dogs and $35 for cats. Backers, who include Kellogg professors, plan to open a second P4P near Chicago’s Midway Airport by September, and 10 more across the country after that.


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