Carpe Diem

Quotation of the day

“With few exceptions, entrepreneurs who start successful businesses don’t do so to maximize profits. Of course they want to make money, but that is not what drives most of them. They are inspired to do something that they believe needs doing. The heroic story of free-enterprise capitalism is one of entrepreneurs using their dreams and passion as fuel to create extraordinary value for customers, team members, suppliers, society, and investors.”

~John Mackey and Raj Sisodia, from their new book “Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business,” via today’s review in the WSJ

12 thoughts on “Quotation of the day

  1. I deal with start-ups every day. Many are run by “serial entrepreneurs”. Trust me, the number that want to make money — a lot of money — is more than “a few exceptions”.
    But more importantly, the investors that fund these entrepreneurs do so precisely to make money. If you can’t show how you’re going to make the investors a 10-20x return, you’ll find it’s pretty hard to run your business on “passion as fuel”.

    • I do think the last comment explains a difference, between the entrepreneurs and the investors. The entrepreneurs have something they want to get accomplished, while the investors just want to make money. Now as an example Bill Gates did not start Microsoft to become the wealthiest person in the world, but to deliver in his words insanely great computers. He lucked out a couple of times and got where he was particularly when Gary Kiddall stood IBM up.
      Of course the business media report from the perspective of the investor, so their orientation is clear.
      This may be why so many entrepreneurs make poor CEOs when companies get to a certian size, they still a focused on why they started the company not the money item.

      • Lyle, the landscape is littered with passionate would-be entrepreneurs you’ve never heard of because they couldn’t get funding for their unprofitable ideas.

        And I beg to differ on the magnificence of Microsoft’s product (which is not computers, btw).

  2. Here’s one way to make money:

    Outsourced: Employee Sends Own Job To China; Surfs Web
    January 16, 2013

    What began as a company’s suspicion that its infrastructure was being hacked turned into a case of a worker outsourcing his own job to a Chinese consulting firm…so that a company there could perform his assigned work.

    And it turns out, the job done in China was above par — the employee’s “code was clean, well written, and submitted in a timely fashion. Quarter after quarter, his performance review noted him as the best developer in the building.”…sending less than one-fifth of his salary to the Chinese firm.”

  3. I tend to agree with SS and Methinks (horrors!).

    When you look back on the history of entrepreneurship in the US – people like
    Benjamin Franklin
    Andrew Carnegie
    John Pierpont J.P. Morgan
    John D Rockefeller
    Thomas Edison
    Henry Ford
    Pierre Samuel duPont

    were savage competitors and not in it for benevolent reasons…..

    Edison, an inventor, even went so far as to electrocute an elephant to prove his electricity patent was better than a competitors.

    Ironically his competitor supported AC electricity while Edison supported DC electricity but now days, how many people remember the guy who invented AC instead of Edison?

    Someone who has money already – has the leisure of being able to fail or not be totally successful whereas someone who has very little money – and a family to support is in a much more precarious position if their effort at entrepreneurship fails.

    I don’t think the folks who have little money to start with are in it just to do “good things” for society any more than the folks drilling and fracking in ND are doing so to “help” American on the road to energy independence or to “help” poor people afford cheaper electricity.

    it’s all about money.

    • People act in their own self-interest. Building wealth is almost always a positive additive to the equation, though it’s not necessarily the largest factor at all times (I suspect that was the thrust of Mackey and Sisodia’s comment). In the aggregate, though, it’s a pretty safe bet to assume that motivation and money are positively related.

  4. Some people are in it for the power. After a certain point, they simply want to be in charge more than they want more money.

    And many people who might be described as “inspired to do something that they believe needs doing” are simply convinced that the world needs their new hula hoop, exactly as they have designed it. Sometimes, by accident, the public actually likes their idea. After that it’s a matter of how well the start-up team can transition to managing an ongoing operation.

  5. The above is cmmon gibberish – I started a co 49+ years ago with 3- 5 employees – with $10,000 in the bank.

    Now we have 1,600 employees and est in 10 yrs 3,000+. Give me a break – you must have some luck but you MUST have a great leader who has much success in his life!!!

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