Monday 2011-10-31

Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee say:

there has never been a better time to be a talented entrepreneur.
-- RaceAgainstTheMachine
Arnold Kling says:
It is easy to be an entrepreneur, but that makes entrepreneurship highly competitive. The big benefits of entrepreneurial activity accrue not to the developers of apps and small online stores, but instead go to the platform providers, like Apple, Google, and Amazon.
-- Footnote of the Day

When everyone's selling Entrepreneurship, do you really want to be buying?

The costs of putting together an online business seem to have fallen drastically over the 2001-2010 decade. What about the opportunity cost of your time? Corporations are capturing a larger percentage of US GDP as profit than they have in the last 50 years, so there's a lot of money available to chase talent.

This reminds me of how Rav Yitzhak in Bava Metzia 42 says that we should have different forms of wealth; perhaps we should consider dividing our time between several different pursuits and not following only one. How hard is it to divide time like that?

At the startup I worked at in 1997, the primary owner/ceo worked as a lieutenant colonel in the US Army on base during the day, and worked at the startup the rest of the time. This division started off manageable for him; by 1998, though, there was always too much work to be done at the startup, and an ever-larger work deficit at the base.

He quit the Army and walked away from his pension that would have started in a year or two because the startup was no longer a startup, but a good growing business that became the CTI network. I wouldn't say it was easy for him, however he did preserve his options for as long as possible, which seems eminently correct*.

Of course, this flies in the face of all modern expectations and advice that you be attached to your startup/business from dawn until dawn. And it makes me wonder whether we're being sold those Expectations, too.

* Conquistadors who burn ships also die. Given the choice between a psych problem and significantly increased death odds, take the psych problem.