Notes on the Entrepreneur

The main point that I could make in communication in this area would be to point out the difference between the great and the good societies and the regressing, deteriorating societies is largely in terms of the entrepreneurial opportunity and the number of such people in society.

The entrepreneurial function is too much underplayed and undervalued. The entrepreneurs—the managers, integrators, organizers, and planners—themselves undervalue the worth of their own function and are still apt to think of themselves in the older terms as exploiters, as superficial, as not really working, not really contributing. Therefore, as a group they are apt to feel a little guilty about their rewards.

Partly, I think, this is tied in with the notion of work as only sweating and laboring, and partly it is a consequence of misunderstanding of the nature of inventions.

As for inventions, our tendency is to think that they result from a great flash of insight in which in one instant darkness becomes light and ignorance becomes knowledge. This is the notion of the brand-new discovery which never existed before, and it is obviously wrong in most cases, since any invention, however novel, has its history. It should be seen anyway as the product of collaboration and division of labor; that is, invention may result from a sudden integration of previously known bits of knowledge ...

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