Fewer entrepreneurs?

In the article "The case for fewer entrepreneurs", Francisco Dao makes an argument that there are too many entrepreneurs now and that it might be a good idea to start discouraging more people to pursue entrepreneurship. He says that if weak start-ups are left to die quickly, their human resources can be used to power the initiatives with the greater chance to succeed. This way, it might be also better for investors to invest more in small, highly-talented teams as opposed to less in many not so talented ones. With more money, entrepreneurs would have been more committed to their goals, he says. In the past, investors have tried to finance every would-be entrepreneur, which should have spread their resources too thin.

I'm quite surprised to read such an article in such a tone. So we need less entrepreneurs and more workers to make the rich richer, so they can succeed more often and seize the credit away from the people who actually deserve it? Isn't that what the past was about? When we look at where we are, we'll see few very powerful companies at the top, that already have the power that the author claims they need. If investors haven't heavily invested in them, would they reach sky-high valuations of billions of dollars? More importantly—what is the consequence of not investing in more, but smaller entrepreneurs? Because they are the people who build or destroy a nation's reputation.

Let's think more contextually. If we needed less entrepreneurs, where would that be? Is it in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia? Could it be that the need at one place might not correspond to the need at another? How does this even out? Why would the EU, for instance, decide to start more entrepreneurship initiatives?

More money doesn't make people more committed to their work. I would argue that entrepreneurs don't need money, because money is the main mechanism for control and manipulation—something that would prevent them from thinking through and finishing their concrete tasks. Unfortunately, this is what most investors and institutions are offer today—they tolerate the few at the cost of many, thus corrupting our world. Professor Günter Faltin says that entrepreneurs achieve something from nothing. In a sense that's why they deserve to be called entrepreneurs.

It's illusory to think that the few rich entrepreneurs will ever be able to satisfy the needs of the majority. If we allow this to happen, a lot of people will suffer. Remember what Larry Page of Google said: "Most companies, when they add more people, they don't do more." This is practically a statement of why concentration of power has diminishing returns. Or of why we need more companies instead of more influential companies. But to have more companies, we simply need more entrepreneurs. It's true that they can start multiple companies if given the resources for that, but in the long term that might not be sustainable. Even in the case of unlimited capital, an entrepreneur still has to decide how to assign the limited workforce to the various on-the-go opportunities. Only if he hires other entrepreneurs—not just people who obey direct orders,—and leaves them working on their own, does he remove the potential for management and bureaucracy to stifle the ideas these individuals would have otherwise pursued on their own.

One of the reasons we like big companies so much might be that their products are usually very tangible—we can show them off and impress the person next to us or the people in our tribe. The cost of that has been high as people's greed has grown proportional to the expensive things they could stay in touch with. This has inflated whole relationships, and when the stimuli disappeared, trust fell at all-time low.

We don't have too many entrepreneurs; we have too many discouraged entrepreneurs. These are people who failed more than once; who listened to demotivating words and internalized them; never received any understanding or support from their circles; people who were ridiculed because of "it ain't work if it doesn't pay". The most important thing isn't to have fewer entrepreneurs, but to support the willing ones.

I can't see any "Indians" around me. Maybe I'm blind, but it's all entrepreneurs—ordinary people with unique talents and skills that you and I must nurture, irrespective of how hard that might be.

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