Two very interesting columns by Arnold Kling at TCS Daily:
The Exceptionally Entrepreneurial Society: “[I]if our goal is to have more countries that look like America, then having them adopt a democratic political system may not be necessary and will certainly not be sufficient. Instead, our primary focus should be on fostering an entrepreneurial economic system.”
For Better or For Worse: Entrepreneurs, Families, and Inequality: “[M]arital choices interact with trends in entrepreneurship to tend to increase inequality of income. Since World War II, our economy has evolved in ways that reinforce the financial differences between strong families and weak families.” This column will be interesting to contrast with Kay Hymowitz’s book Marriage and Caste in America.
However, I have to quibble with Mr. Kling’s definition of entrepreneurship:
[A]n entrepreneur is someone who both launches a new enterprise and bears considerable risk and accountability relative to its success. … Someone who has a very high degree of risk and accountability but who did not launch the business is a hired executive, not an entrepreneur.
I would submit that if you “bear considerable risk and accountability relative to [your business’s] success” (i.e., control the equity), you are not a hired executive but a business owner and entrepreneur, whether or not you launched it from scratch. An executive who bought a manufacturing or service business and grew it bears no less risk and is no less entrepreneurial than a serial founder who exits his software startups as soon as lead customers are locked in.