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April 01, 2007

Entrepreneurs as Idealists

Wednesday in my entrepreneurship class, my professor asked the class what they thought drove entrepreneurs to start their own businesses.  I was surprised when half of the people who spoke-up said it was purely for profit.  Now why does this surprise me?  Because entrepreneurs (or at least the most successful ones) tend to have an ideal/vision of what they want the world to be like and use business to change the world to fit the vision.  Gates wanting every desk to have a computer; Walton wanting to save low-income, American consumers money; Dell wanting to drive down the cost of computers; and Brin+Page wanting to make an algorithm that is more efficient at finding things on the Internet.

Personally, I want to use business as a vehicle to help improve their places in the world, whether it's through education, finance, or an industry yet to be created.  I want everyone in the world to have the opportunity to enjoy an American standard of living.  Why not teach a person to fish and get paid for it?  Both are better off, and the more people you teach to fish, the more money you make in the end.

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