Entrepreneurs and American Economic Growth

Entrepreneurs and Scientists

  1. Common Threads

    1. All the Entrepreneurs we have studied either began their business careers or became intensely interested in the area that became their business career in their teens.

    2. All exhibited at a young age the primary qualities that were to make them successful: hard work, tenacity, and intelligence.

    3. This intelligence later manifested itself as the remarkable ability to construct and run a business model in their heads. That is, their understanding of their chosen business was complete so that they consciously introduced the key innovation that made them a Schumpeteran entrepreneur.

    4. This combination of hard work, tenacity, and intelligence that characterizes these great business leaders is exactly the same combination of qualities that characterizes the great scientists.

    5. Both groups also excel in the ability to reason by analogy and in the ability to see patterns where others do not. That is, the great entrepreneurs tend to "find" and/or "transfer" business methods/technologies (ideas in a larger sense) used in other areas to the business they are in. A common pattern in Science is the transference of ideas/concepts from one field to another.

      Both groups see patterns where other people do not. For example, what do you see in this famous picture -- a bird or a duck?


      What do you see -- an old woman or a young woman?


      What do you see -- who is the man in the picture?


    6. Finally, both are equally important in the advancement of our civilization. As Schumpeter points out, Science and Capitalism are two sides of the same coin - the rise of rationalism. This has produced a revolution in the human condition. Never in human history have so many people lived lives so free of disease and material wants.

  2. The great entrepreneurs stand with the great scientists as the creators of our civilization. If they are not heroes, who is?

Copyright 2002 kpoole@ucsd.edu Keith T. Poole
All Rights Reserved

Quotations and concepts may be used for review or academic purposes only if proper credit is given to the author. Unauthorized use or reproduction is prohibited.
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