Columbus to Cabot, Vasco da Gama to Vasquez, Sir Francis Drake to Sir Walter Raleigh …
All these famed explorers set their sights on distant lands and their minds on ships, maps, crews, and supplies. Little did they know their expeditions were sparking a revolution in Europe. Not a political revolution—a commercial revolution. Exploring new lands required new forms of business—new ways to share risk, insure expeditions, and exchange goods. It was the birth of many business systems we take for granted today. An opportunity in and of itself, intertwined with all the other opportunities of the day. The one could not have been realized without the other.
Opportunity begets opportunity.
While we recognize the who's who of explorers, the real who of growth during that period extends well beyond those who set sail. Countless people both paved the way for expeditions and shaped opportunity in the aftermath. The opportunity ecosystem was rich with participants, each taking on critical roles, each contributing in their own ways.
Opportunity requires a village, a vanguard, and then some!
Well before the notion to sail entered the minds of Christopher (Columbus), ...