A lost generation of entrepreneurs?

January 28, 2010

Jeff Bussgang is a General Partner at Flybridge Capital Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm in Boston. This post originally appeared on Bussgang’s blog www.seeingbothsides.com. The views expressed are his own.

I’ve been worrying lately that we are suffering from a lost generation of entrepreneurs.

That was my first reaction when I read what Sequoia’s Doug Leone said a few weeks ago about innovation and age at a recent talk with MIT Sloan students visiting Silicon Valley. Leone claimed only people under the age of 30 are truly innovative. Over 30 folks can manage innovation, Leone observed, but you need to be under 30 to create it. He cited people such as Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s founder who was 30 at the time he started the service.

Now you can argue whether this is right or whether it’s a hyperbolic statement for effect, but let’s put that aside for now. Here’s my worry: when I was under 30, I had the opportunity to be a part of a rocket-ship startup – Open Market – that promoted me into an executive position of a public company in my 20s. The lessons and skills from that experience inspired me to delude myself into thinking I could be the founding president of another startup, Upromise, when I was 30. At the time, when I looked around at my peers and friends, they were all doing the same thing at a similar age. Folks like Jeff Glass, who started m-Qube at around the same time and age, Scott Friend, who became president of ProfitLogic, Russ Wilcox at e-Ink and many more. These startups all became substantial companies that resulted in exits north of $100 million.

Fast-forward to today. During the period of 2001-2009, there were very few substantial startups built to allow that generation’s 20-somethings to learn and develop company-building skills. As a result, we have a lost generation of entrepreneurs. Not enough 20-somethings, or let’s even say under 35, have had the opportunity to see success at a young age and learn the important lessons of startup leadership. I think once you’ve seen some success in your 20s, you are that much more likely to be a strong entrepreneurial advocate, mentor and serial starter in your 30s.

When my partners and I tried to develop a list of today’s under 35 entrepreneurs, who had started companies and seen meaningful success with them, it was a depressingly short list. In addition to Dorsey, Mark Zuckerberg is an obvious one, as are YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. Less well-known standouts include the Great Point Energy team (Andrew Pearlman and Avi Goldberg), who saw some success at Coatue (sold to AMD), which led them to start a fascinating and potentially game-changing clean energy company. And there’s Ric Fulop, who co-founded last year’s IPO darling A123 in his late 20s.

So what do we do about it? I suppose one thing we can do is celebrate the heck out of the under 35 entrepreneurs we know who have seen success, because we need their peers to know that it’s possible and encourage them to serve as role models to today’s students, so that we don’t suffer from yet another lost generation in the years ahead. So who else should be on our list?


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It’s become harder and harder for our generation to get off the ground.
However I have hope that our generation will pull off the next green revolution we so desperately need.
The past generations seemed to be more bent on war, accumulation of wealth, property and power.
None of which are very fashionable anymore.
My generation now has to clean up the mess of our fathers. Worry about the environment, economy and our future.
Let alone build a successful business.

My generation has learned we all need to look after one another. We’re in it together.
The last few generations have clung violently to the notion god will save us.

We now know better, god has nothing to do with anything.

Posted by dutch | Report as abusive

This may already sound like a cliche, but it would not be untrue to say the economy has certainly stunted opportunity for young people with fresh ideas. Simply getting a loan from a bank to get started can be difficult at this point. Your article seemed to center around tech ideas and I suppose I am talking small business in general. I graduated from college in 2007 and do plan to pursue my own business, but those are the thoughts and concerns that are, at this point, holding me back.

Posted by d4rren | Report as abusive

I think the first thing that everyone in the US should do is to stop equating “meaningful success” with IPO’s and venture capital and investment banks. Being an entrepreneur that is successful does not mean north of $100 million exits from the ideas they came up with and companies that resulted. Sheesh. As to company building experience . . . well, go out and do it. Stop depending on others to start a company so that you can gain experience. Although it would be nice.

Posted by wolfizzle | Report as abusive

Wow, you had a great commentary of our generation going…until the last two lines. You lost it there crossing the line into a religious commentary that had no place. Next time, stick to the issue of the article.

Posted by overandunder | Report as abusive

I disagree, it is hard for my generation to get off the ground because they are too busy sitting on their asses. The widespread notion that we have to “clean up” the mess of our fathers. That is a cheap cop-out by a generation too lazy to actually move forward in an economy shaped by the amazing levels of innovation that we saw in the last 20 years. “dutch” is wrong in saying our generation needs to “look after one another”, we need to move forward and look out for ourselves. It is a proven fact that socialism does NOT breed innovation, in fact it squelches it. Lets let Darwinian Capitalism do what it does best, rewarding innovators, and punishing the lazy and incompetent.

Posted by dls458 | Report as abusive

Between constant recessions, high student loan interest (which we can’t consolidate at lower rates to take advantage of the crash), and lack of jobs… There aren’t the resources or opportunities for lots of entrepreneurship. Moreover, many universities are not well suited to promoting innovation in their undergraduate classes.

Posted by brennhill | Report as abusive

Dear GOD Help us! This is the slackertude who will be responsible for assuring my Social Security checks won’t bounce in 25 years!

I’ll bet your father is proud of you

Posted by RadicalCentrist | Report as abusive

Back in the 80`s l was in the business of funding people both here and abroad. It was neither easier then as it is now, as most people who want to be successful in the 80`s based their businesses on profit first. The change in Social Media has changed and l believe will continue to change by the advent of the internet and people like, google,facebook and you-tube, all aimed at giving us a platform to share our personal and business ideas.

As these facilities have become the norm we have been given something to enable media sites to build a following that can and l am sure will one day be fully used to repay the investment by these said companies.

As dutch said and l agree up to the point about God and l add this he watches everything and waits for us to use what he gave us with with our freewill for the good of his people and not to line our own pockets. In business it has served me well but has let others down – the words ” Give & You Will Receive ” try it works. But a note of warning do not expect you know the answers – l did not and learn to wait as it will be very different to what you understand as right from wrong.

Posted by AceNewsService | Report as abusive

There is no developmental money for entrepreneurs.

That simple, none.

An entrepreur with a singificant ‘idea’ can not be expected to do the work of 150 engineers, programmers, accountants business managers, etc. It takes money.

that would be M O N E Y.


Posted by jimigenius | Report as abusive

The X generation brought up the Y Generation a recessive gene. They gave them everything and yet gave them nothing! They are a bunch of enabled spoiled brats where everyone wins a trophy. Game is over for the X and Y generation. i have been warning parents about bring their kids up firmly and now they will pay the price. these kids are loafers, and leaches who just know how to ask mommy and daddy for the latest shoe, car and Ipod gadget. Just pure consumers and not creators.

Posted by Truthout | Report as abusive

You and I must not be part of the same “My Generation.”

I’m going to assume that you are currently attending a pretty liberal school.

Posted by dez | Report as abusive

I have to say I have tried to start my own company and it is not easy. My biggest hurdle is keeping my life affloat while trying to earn a living. No one trusts new buisnesses and will go to an old company they have used in the past even though they know they are paying more. I made a computer repair business when my full time job ended. I was a Wide Area Network Admin making 125K a year when they sold the company and I was out of a job.
I used my savings up very quick trying to start a company that never took off, Now I work for a large companies help desk answering telephones for 40K. The economy has been tanking for the last 10 years and has just slowly gotten worse and financially harder to start a business.

Posted by cal4701 | Report as abusive

I agree with this article to an extent. I don’t believe its a lack of entrepreneurs as much as big organizations buying out failing organizations and running those failing organizations. Here is a case in point. AIG, Freddy Mac, and all these other big banks that were failing because of their poor decisions. If we let these companies die, it would create a large void for new innovative banks and institutions to fill in. These are companies right now that are right now as we speak trying to make it.

But even in this case when the big monster that buy and run failing businesses that found a void to fill, themselves fail, government props them up. This essentially halts innovation and entrepreneurship. We don’t have a void of entrepreneurs in my generation. We have a bunch of mammoths that wont die out because we as a government by the people, wont let them.

To further my point after 9/11 many airlines faced bankruptcy. Our government funded them to prevent them from failing. Why do we stop failure of poor to sloppy business practice as a nation? Would it have been tougher for all of us as Americans briefly? Yes, but our deficit wouldn’t be nearly as deep as it is now and we would probably have some excellent airline from these entrepreneurs the were never allowed the opertunity. To a point these airline would probably be running cheaper.

The right question is not ‘why are there no 30 something entrepreneurs?’ the right question is, ‘why don’t we let these old mammoths that cant adapt to new global conditions, die?’ For the sake of our future I ask everyone reading this to stop stopping failure.

Posted by benz2010 | Report as abusive

OOOOh, you young guys are soooooooo smart. Too bad you have to clean up the mess from all of us clueless, god fearing, lazy, war mongering old guys. If I could remember where I put my cane, I would give you a good whack! HAHAHAHAHA… Man are you full of yourself.

Posted by mysteryroche | Report as abusive

I think Dutch’s comment illuminates the problem even better than the article. Too many of the current and future generations are not raised to value the things that make for a strong state. Instead they are indoctrinated into valuing abstract gibberish like a “green revolution,” which is too often divorced from science, and used as a smokescreen for socialist policy. They are taught that we need to look after each other, but they are not taught that that only works in very small groups. In large groups it leads to autocratic rule by those who can mouth the platitudes of subservience in public while exploiting the system in private.

True entrepreneurship requires great amounts of faith; if what you are doing is obviously going to be successful someone else would have done it by now. I am not saying entrepreneurs need a religion, but the habits ingrained by being raised in one can be a great value even if the explicit beliefs of that religion are rejected. I’m not sure whether Dutch meant to say this, or if it is unconsciously coming through: what other purpose did he have for bringing up God, except to show that current generations are being brought up to not believe strongly in anything?

Posted by otton | Report as abusive

I have a patent, listed last Jan, should be granted within the next few months.

I believe my idea can save the common person thousands of dollars every year. It’s cheap to make, it will revolutionize the way you shop, as well as the way merchants deal with customers.

Nothing to sell. Nothing to buy. Matter of fact, for the targeted folk [ie, everyone], it is free. Money is made ELSEWHERE.

And I can’t get 2 pennies to rub together. THAT’S why there are fewer innovators. It takes money to innovate, it isn’t free.

Posted by ByteRider | Report as abusive

Laws make it difficult for anyone to get off the ground as an entrepreneur. Then you have to find financial backing and find the time to do the same work an office of employees does in one day – including paperwork, creating a web presence, sales meetings and then actually doing the job you’re in business to do.

Posted by bdkennedy1 | Report as abusive

It is tremendously more difficult to accrue capital today for those first starting to build their credit than 10 years ago. Companies also are hiring fewer inexperienced people in preference of older laid-off workers, denying the vital first professional jobs for entrepreneurial-type people who just need a little understanding of business systems. Also, fewer internships are available for young people to get some experience. Yes, it’s not absolutely necessary to have work experience with progressive companies to become a success, but it certainly helps.

SO, less capital and less available work experience are causes for young people to be less likely to be entrepreneurs. Dotcoms may be the exception though…

Posted by meclimber | Report as abusive

I believe the real reasons for the dearth are these:

– bursting of the financial bubbles which had made the risk/reward calculus enticing to the young
– systematic exploitation of young minds by the private equity institutions, diluting the potential for their ownership of the next big home run they might create
– awful economic climate which forces everyone – young, old and all the supporting institutions (gov’t, equity markets and banks) – to avoid risk

Also, did I mention the economy?

Posted by binderdundat | Report as abusive

Please Dutch! What about the generations who had to “clean things up” after WWI, Vietnam, the S&L crisis and on and on?

The problem with “your” generation is that it has been spoiled beyond belief, carted from one play date to the next and given a trophy for every sport played regardless of whether or not you deserved one. Now you bring the baggage of that mentality to adulthood and it doesn’t surprise me you think you “know better”.

Older generations had nothing handed to them. Success will always take hard work, dedication, and a little luck. Praying to your God of choice doesn’t hurt either. Ask any North Korean who would kill for the opportunities this country offers and whose native born children whine about and dismiss out of hand.

Perhaps you didn’t read Mr. Bussgang’s article very closely but his point is that the younger generation is NOT producing successful entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs who create “substantial companies”… companies that MAKE MONEY. The fact that your generation finds this incentive unfashionable is exactly why he is worried; and he’s not alone.

Posted by GOBO | Report as abusive

GOBO please be careful when you talk about my generation. Yes there are idionts my age, that does not mean we are all idiots nor did we all grow up with a silver spoon and platter.

At 6 years old I knew hunger – boiled onions, at 10 years old I knew pain and at 12 years old I was living in a homeless shelter. Fast forward 12 years and I have graduated from university and have been working at my first office job as a researcher for two years.

Did I have everything handed to me? I certainly do not think so. I inched my way up from the bottom I was born into.

Posted by Sebastian293 | Report as abusive

As a 33 year old 1999 college graduate and entrepreneur I have to say that timing is everything (al la Gladwell’s Outliers). I watched mediocre ideas get millions in funding while in college only to have several solidly planned startups from 2001 to 2005 shelved by VC and angels until the “timing improved” (I will not rule out that could have been a polite “not good enough” though 3 of the plans were eventually executed by others with great success).

My point is that it was not for lack of entrepreneurs or innovation that the <35 list is so short just like it is not the case that superior innovation and an abundance of entrepreneurs among those born from 1965 to 1975 was the reason they had the opportunity they were granted. The opportunity was there because the market was growing and VC’s could make money in an IPO quickly therefore mitigating the risk taken when hiring a 24 year old to start/run a company/division. When that opportunity ceased the risks increased and the cheap and abundant VC cash was throttled. Those born from 1976 to 1990 are left waiting in the wings (or off getting MBA’s) innovating with little chance of funding until the opportunity surfaces once again where the VC risks are lessened by market liquidity. In short, Jeff, you were born at the right time.

My thoughts are that the 1974 to 1990 born entrepreneurs will be more concerned with lasting bottom up growth, solid performance, execution, leadership, management, and other aspects that make companies great and valuable in the long run. While less concerned with IPO’s we will innovate, capitalize, and return value in the form of cash producing businesses over flash in the pan “structured exits” that leave other shareholders holding the bag for a poor business model. The only need now is for VC to tap that pool of resources and again throw money around until one of the bets pays off.

Posted by economagician | Report as abusive

starting up companies and exiting north of $100M isn’t important in a culture (and nation) that is declining. billionaires and millionaries aren’t going to save us from the stupidity of our political and economic choices. (did they during this recession? or the one in the 30s?)

instead of ipos and ‘growth’ what we need are minds that can construct an economy that maintains a rational homeostatis where all citizens have a life without privation and the big scientific questions are adequately addressed.

the capitalist collectivization we live under in the u.s. is just a mixture of facism and bs. a lot of rich 30 somethings just means a lot more poor 30 somethings. and with all the tech coming on, who needs the poor ones!

Posted by jborrow | Report as abusive

oh, one more thing…all this so called ‘inovation’ is mostly just iToys. consider the iPad without the iPhone circuitry. nonsense.

Posted by jborrow | Report as abusive

If Gen Y’ers are spoiled, there’s a very simple reason why: they learned it from their Baby Boomer parents (that’s what the generation before the 1946-1964 cohort said about those guys). Both generations were beneficiaries of their parents’ unparalleled prosperity, as history shows.

While I disagree with almost everything Dutch says, Y’ers are demographically disadvantaged. Unlike Baby Boomers, Y’ers do not have as many same-aged peers to bounce ideas of (like Baby Boomers). Society has focused on pushing them toward white-collar careers and thus away for mechanical and electrical inventiveness, and Capital is even more concentrated than it was even 25 years ago and many manufacturing industries have moved overseas. Frankly, they don’t have to skill, opportunity or money to be inventive.

Zuckerberg exemplifies what all Under-30 entrepreneurs have to be: high achievers (Harvard Student) with an idea (Facebook) who are a able to make something (a Website) out of literally nothing. That’s not an easy thing to be, especially since older people don’t think they can be responsible with money (but they learned those skills from their parents!).

Posted by DJSK | Report as abusive

Whatever (sigh). The idea that you have to be under 30 to be an entrepreneur is a bit of a conceit. This isn’t exactly like physics where you need youthful mental plasticity to reimagine the universe. We are talking about kids out of college who want to invent a gizmo that gets them rich. Pure self centered self interest. With an idea that occurred during the last hangover, a little sweat equity, and a 30 or 40 something sugar daddy (aka venture capitalist) to front them capital… voila, IPO!

The devil is in the details – or should we say the 40 something who does the hard and boring stuff – managing the enterprise to real success.

Posted by mccheese | Report as abusive

I don’t believe anyone has the right to attack any generation. There is laziness in all generations and there are those who fight and struggle to better themselves and the world we live in. As a tried and failed and a tried and successful entrepreneur, and knowing many hard working individuals and also many lazy ones. It is not the generations themselves but the individuals.

For my first business it was a flop, after trying everything within my power to keep the company operational and alive for just over a year, it was the laziness of my own generation and generations before me that led to the destruction of my company. As for my second company not only was it me that gave everything I had but also those of my friends, friends that I had before and the friends I made while trying to build it and make it a success. I do agree that it seems tougher in today’s world to become a successful entrepreneur, however that is if you stand alone and have people from any generation not willing to see that business succeed. Dutch had one thing right and that’s is that we need to come together to be a successful generation.

As a side note and not to corrupt what I was trying to relay in my post. I think what Dutch may have been saying or at least what I took from it is that, those of us that are lazy need to stop being so and stop waiting for something bigger to happen or fall in our laps. God will not do anything for us that we will not do for ourselves

Posted by Rabbit77 | Report as abusive

All the years of war, bad foreign policies, irresponsible lending and banking laws, and the creation of a 2 party (democrat and republican) communist system have brought us to this point. this commentary sounds more like a snobby pep talk for someone who is looking to invest in something where a fast buck can be made.it your generation that supported likes of osama bin laden and sadaam hussain. it is our generation that is left to pay for those mistakes. so please forgive us when we are not “innovating” because thousands of our peers are over seas fighting in wars started by your generation.

Posted by sidrock23 | Report as abusive

There is no more American Dream.

Wall Street ate it and pigs don’t leave table scraps for the Farmer.

Posted by jimigenius | Report as abusive

he challenge now is that entrepreneurs have gotten a bit lazy. We know everyone is working hard, but the thinking, the types of problems we are solving are not necessarily unique. A good example of this is the proliferation of apps on Apples App store. The real opportunity is to now tackle juicier business and societal problems that affect the world. Here’s a question for those under 35 entrepreneurs: what has more sustainable and relevant value to our economy: having 1 billion people on Facebook or reducing the high school drop out rate to less than 10% nationally? The few people that have stock and the VCs will proudly like to see the former, which will lead to another Business Week article to discuss how less than a half-dozen people became billionaires. This in turn will lead to another lame blog post from one of those people who enjoyed an uber-payday to comment about another lost decade of because they don’t have enough friends with similar amounts of coin. for more http://www.prime-targeting.com/

Posted by Jehnavi | Report as abusive

Dutch is probably Dutch. All the arguments used are used in a public debate in the Netherlands about an overhaul of the pension system in which politicians use the blame game and divide the older and younger generations to raise the age of retirement.

However It is exemplary of the influence of politicians and if we look at them and their ways today there is a parallel. Blaming others, not the USSR anymore, but domestic groups, internal divide and conquer politics are back again. This is the example they (and we) are giving instead of trying to do better, being more motivated, being more solution minded instead of problem minded, blaming instead of taking responsibilities, negative focus instead of positive, playing insecurities and fear instead of hope and progress. This is what todays generation has had as an example how the game is played and it has nothing to do with entrepreneurial skills whatsoever, in contrary, they are al skills of destruction and deception.

If you are wondering why the youth is blaming, “disfunctional”, not living up to their potential (which of course is a generalization of mega proportions), look up and see their leaders/examples. Western leaders who attack problems with more problems instead of solutions. In America it is now the opposition in Europe it are still all concerned. All this of a few blows to our ego, some really nasty business and our leaders caved and we followed. Some say it’s the collapse of a common enemy, but it’s not. The nineties were successful in many ways. Yes, the root of today’s problem were constructed in the nineties (and before), but that has always been the case. Yes it’s hard to get credit for a start up, but that has always been the case. It’s our mindset which is depressing and reality just follows. Our youth deserves better, so let’s start blaming ourselves instead of them even if they mimic our fears and insecurities, we are their example.

Time to set our example, not by forfeiting our legacy and victories, they are tremendous, but by being responsible adults who’s time in the spotlight is passing instead of struggling and fighting the inevitable. In other words, grow up finally!

So Dutch is right in the party he blames, but not for the right reasons and if he knew the right reasons, he wasn’t blaming that party, but setting up a business which targeted the people of our age which is rapidly becoming the biggest and most wealthy consumer group in history. If only he had learned of the possibilities instead of all the problems.

My 0.02

Posted by webby | Report as abusive

This writers views on this subject can be accepted in partial ways.
I do not think that, world is facing shortages of young enterprise thinkers,new innovations at tender ages in future years.
Day by day, education,technology,science and research fields are attracted,experiences by young,adults are growing.
Now, we have to encourage youngsters to have more freedom,free from so many controls,restrictions,shortage of funds and mainly from initial discouragement to young,aspiring scientists, new developers and from elders ,and from state regulatory authorities.
How we got many talent works,scientific findings, new drugs,new theories, new applications in communication sectors, and from new,thought provoking,applicable thoughts for us.
We got all these good things from young engineers,doctors,scientists and from world famous educational institutions from time to time.
I think that, we will not face any dearth of talented minds in future.
How, Mr,Bill Gates,face book,twitter founders have formulated,implemented their sayings into modern realities.
Like them, we will get more and more beautiful brains in this decade.
This is a continuing process and it will shape into more futuristic helpful ways to us.,

Posted by mdspatsy | Report as abusive

If there is anything wrong with this generation it is that that they were enabled too much. Enablement stifles entrepreneurship. There is always a roadblock when someone
is enabled. Entrepreneurs find away around every obstacle and never give up. Adversity
fosters entrepreneurship.
If you don’t believe me – go and spend some time in Calcutta or Bombay. There you will see real entrepreneurs !

Posted by michaelmoore | Report as abusive

The message of persistence and focus is not taught frequently enough.

Individuals my age (22) approach entrepreneurship like investors… looking for good “prospects” and jockeying for position with stock and shares. These lessons–taught by the investment community–confound and disable many start-ups at the get-go. More importantly, however, they rob passion for the start-up.

Without that passion, the current idea does not stand up to the next idea down the line. And without that passion, people are much less likely to say “screw investment, lets just build it.” That is, I feel, a necessary point in many start-ups, and one that many young “entrepreneurs” I know fail to ever reach.

My generation seems distinctively bipolar: either we are excited by the minute details of every contract or we are excited by the grand scale on which our new enterprise will “dominate”. Traversing the varying scale of business is a trait few individuals have. You could argue that this is a product of our environment (the internet), our working parents or the lack of a firm hand in our upbringing.

Either way, I agree with the article: Our generation needs experience and I think that allowing them that experience will mend this problem. Every VC needs to educate the population that they are not the end-all, be-all of starting a company. First, you’ve got to get your hands dirty and go do something.

Posted by savage1881 | Report as abusive

Everyone on here complaining about needing money to innovate is absolutely wrong. True innovation comes from building an organic business that grows by demand not by ego. As a small business owner in my twenties I work as the CTO for as a technology consultant and collaborate with many engineers to delivery high quality products to my clients. It’s sure not as exciting as having millions to build my ideas but with the right amount of hustle and the right attitude all of my ideas are quickly becoming a reality.

There American spirit of innovation is not backed by venture capitalists; it is rooted in the spirit of “can do” and the answer of “yes” when asked if it can be done.

Anything less than success is a result of your own failure and should not represent the rest of us. Persistence is the key to success.

Posted by zigzaplane | Report as abusive

As a 32 year old serial starter upper, inventor and social media developer, I feel the hardest part about getting a new idea out there is that there is no one to trust. We see vultures on a daily basis who would love to buy our ideas for 90% control of the idea and pay out 10% of the payoff. What incentive is there for the starving artists? NONE.
We do this because we love our work, creating something useful, finding a need and filling a gap. Not all of us are willing to sell our children to the highest bidder.
I would work with a trusted company who would sponsor ideas, mentor growth and accept a great charitable write off for giving capitol to a worthy new green minded company. NOT LIKELY to find such a company or team, eh?

You will see more innovation if the greedy capitalists would nurture new ideas rather than depending on someone else’s ideas for their own gain.

OPINION: You know who Mark Z is because Microsoft invested in his dream, and they spent about $50,000 in researching his company before they even contacted him about investment. They have already seen the ROI twice through ad streams and will see customer loyalty to Facebook do nothing but increase in the long term. From a start up network of grad students to a fully functional social network, adding relatives, businesses, and extras, this happened over 5 years vs. the 15 years it would have taken if no serious research had been done, and buyouts taken place. Take someones baby from then and raise it as your own and you will not have the same child.

Conclusion: Get behind someones dream rather than buy it from then and you will see the full potential. Stop limiting our sights with your experience, and let us grow.

Posted by stuffnthings | Report as abusive

Out of thousands that tried, maybe only one or two succeed. But they will be our inspiration to drive on and we should never give up! =)


Posted by RedQueen | Report as abusive

While I try to be sympathetic to the view of the article, I sort of wonder where he’s been hiding? There are phenomenal entrepreneurs who have built businesses of significance in the years 2001 to 2009. Ariadne Capital, my investment firm, were early advisors to Niklas Zennstrom at Skype, and we’ve backed Alastair Lukies, the CEO of Monitise, the global leader in mobile banking, since 2004. Christina Domecq and Daniel Doulton were the first entrepreneurs in Europe and possibly the world to sell a hosted solution into mobile carriers 33 times with SpinVox; they created a whole new category of technology – voice to text delivered as a hosted solution via the mobile carrier channel. Then there is Espotting and my friend Seb Bishop and Daniel Ishag, who built the first pay per click company with the Advertising 2.0 business model. Frankly, I have a very long list of outstanding entrepreneurs of significance over the past decade.

Anyone who wants to be part of the movement of creating global leaders out of the UK should watch Entrepreneur Country – www.entrepreneurcountry.net

Julie Meyer

Posted by JulieMeyer | Report as abusive

One has to read : “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” by Peter Drucker. Innovation is the tool of an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur shifts the yield of a resource from a lower to a higher level. Most entrepreneurs are plain Johns who make a difference in ordinary lives. To restrict the meaning of innovation to novelties is to give a very narrow sense to the word. We all know that there is tremendous waste in this world. One way is to be entrepreneurial in a way which reduces waste and enhance value to consumers.

Posted by prabhugg | Report as abusive

Was it the youth and immaturity of the darlings cofounder that prevented it from recognizing it was a holemaker or a fastener not a driller or a nailer that now has me find this agist rant on it’s keyword as the idea was never set fully free? Batteries do not enable or protect cars- or airlines endanger one plane at a time, they SHOULD disrupt but we have seen a market failure, despite being publically traded for years it was never managed in the public interest perhaps because our system is not always the solution, here it was the problem. A price is being paid in the loss of landline (quality quick audio connections), undelayed and lossless channel surfing etc. and asking for gifts instead of selling equity maybe what our new lights have been up to- supporting there work primarally, not there futures or ‘skillset’ etc.

DO you understand the difference?

Posted by factsandreasons | Report as abusive