Friday, August 18, 2017

New forms of ambition and failure

I see that some high schools are teaching a course or two about entrepreneurship.  Probably some community colleges are, too.  Everybody should go out to the garage and be Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. When I was considering what line of work I wanted to head for, I looked at teaching.  I like ideas and the problem of conveying them to others.  I was confident that I could not produce a good class of 25 or 30 students, especially not semester after semester. I needed a whole school system to join. Besides, who needs teaching the most, the rich and well-off or the poor and discouraged?

The excellent TED talk by Ernesto Sirolli outlines three main functions a start-up company must fulfill: product, money and advertising.  You have to have a good product or service.  These days, you need to pay steady attention to ways what is offered could be improved, profitably expanded or profitably shrunk.  You have to keep track of income, outgo, debts, taxes and such.  And you have to think about marketing. 

I heard some years ago from the financier and author Robert T. Kiyosaki that a fast way to higher wealth was to create a good company with a good product, good finances and good marketing and sell the whole operation.  The valuation of a successful company with good achievement in all three areas can include likely future earnings and those can add up. So, I guess every other young person hopes to be another Mark Zuckerberg.  

I imagine more venture capitalists exist these days and of course they are on the lookout for good ideas and hard working and energetic young people to carry them out.  However, with more history, more competition and better communication, everyone is more aware of the possibilities and the downfalls lurking about.  If your nephew and his energetic girlfriend get something going but unforeseen obstacles trash their dream, help them re-group and keep the long term in mind.  Life goes on for many decades and has all sorts of tricks and turns.  Just because of a stone in a shoe, there is no reason to forget the long and broad view.

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