Friday, March 16, 2012

Entrepreneurial Clusters and the Clustering of Entrepreneurs

The word stereotype means literally a strong or firm impression. Entrepreneurs are known to "break the mold" (from which assumedly strong impressions might be cast). One might argue therefore that to stereotype entrepreneurs were a logical fallacy.

Cops in a Donut Shop

Here's an extract from a recent Economist article on the recent Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Liverpool:
[S]erious entrepreneurs want to create big businesses, not multiply small ones. They don’t give a fig about regional development.
Oh wow! I guess the use of the term "serious" might raise the stakes of fallacy to ad hominem status: the corollary of that statement of course being that if you care about regional development, job creation, and may not be obsessed with size and growth at all costs, you couldn't possibly be a serious entrepreneur.

The article goes on to observe the if-you-build-it-they-will-come obsessiveness of many policymakers with Silicon Valley and universities with incubators. They cite Rohit Shukla of the Larta Institute as countering that entrepreneur clusters are more often the product of accident than intention. To this entrepreneur's mind, the best thing that can be done to encourage entrepreneurship is to cease the stereotyping and just let people be people: some of us it would seem are inclined to create our own jobs and jobs for others to boot.

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