Are Entrepreneurs Modern Day Heroes?
Law professor Donna Matias defines an entrepreneur as someone able to identify and provide for an unmet need. In short, entrepreneurs are both problem solvers and wealth creators. Extremely successful entrepreneurs, therefore, are not evil. Rather, they are modern day heroes who have managed to effectively fulfill the needs of their consumers.
- Steve Jobs, Entrepreneur [Article]: Harry Binswanger discusses the astonishing foresight of Steve Jobs.
- Under Armour Founder Breaks Into Billionaires Club [Article]: Edwin Durgy discusses how the founder of Under Armour developed his product to meet a perceived market gap - and became wildly successful.
- The Entrepreneur as an American Hero [Video]: Walter Williams explains how entrepreneurs make profit by making life better for those around them.
- Munger on Profits, Entrepreneurship, and Storytelling [Audio]: Mike Munger uses a series of stories to illuminate the sometimes puzzling nature of profit.
Entrepreneurs have the opportunity to match their passions and their strengths with some unmet need in society. And the classic entrepreneur is somebody who is able to identify where there’s a need that hasn’t been met and rush in there and try to provide it, whether it’s providing a particular kind of specialty food, or a dog bakery, whether it’s figuring out the best way for people to connect with each other through social networks. They’re problem solvers and they are wealth creators.
Government can print money, but it’s the entrepreneurs who really make the money. Most politicians have not stepped into the shoes of an entrepreneur, and I think that makes it easier for them to pass laws and regulations and new taxes and fees and license requirements in the name of the public good. But they don’t really understand what it takes to be an entrepreneur and how all these new laws and regulations thwart entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs are the real employers in this country, and they’re the primary creators of new jobs. And when entrepreneurs can’t operate, they can’t hire new employees, our economy cannot thrive.
There’s a tendency to think of the entrepreneur as a hero, a romanticized figure who is going to come in and save the day, and that’s justified. But there’s also a tendency in our society to think of corporations and really successful entrepreneurs, those making millions, as evil because they’ve been so successful. But when you find a successful entrepreneur, what you should think is, here is somebody who has managed to meet the needs of his or her consumers. That’s something that we should praise, that’s something that we should want. And consumers are better off, and our economy is better off; we’re all better off. The entrepreneur is better off, but there’s nothing wrong with that.
A society that allows entrepreneurship to flourish is a society that is open to progress and innovation and competition and, in turn, a thriving economy. We should in fact romanticize. We should see entrepreneurs as heroes, and we should continue to see them as heroes the more successful they are.