Arnold Kling  

The Entrepreneurial Mind

Empathizers and Systemetizers... Gelman on Me, Chua, and Cowen...

Inc Magazine writes,

Sarasvathy likes to compare expert entrepreneurs to Iron Chefs: at their best when presented with an assortment of motley ingredients and challenged to whip up whatever dish expediency and imagination suggest. Corporate leaders, by contrast, decide they are going to make Swedish meatballs. They then proceed to shop, measure, mix, and cook Swedish meatballs in the most efficient, cost-effective manner possible.

In other words, corporate executives plan, while entrepreneurs improvise.

Actually, there is no way to excerpt the article and do it justice. Read the whole thing. I should point out, though, that it simply replicates previous work: the research in Amar Bhide's The Origin and Evolution of New Businesses, a book that deserved to be much more widely read; and my own Under the Radar, a book that may have been more justifiably ignored.

Thanks to Tyler Cowen for the pointer (he in turn thanks the browser.

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CATEGORIES: Business Economics

COMMENTS (4 to date)
Cyril Morong writes:

Candace Allen Smith has written about how entrepreneurs are like heroes. She gave a talk on this at the Dallas Fed in 1997. Here is the link

I think that got reprinted in the Freeman. She also had a similar, award winning article in the Journal of Private Enterprise in 1996.

Walter Williams also wrote about entrepreneurs as heroes

So did Johan Norberg

I have also written a couple of articles on the subject

Noah Yetter writes:


This particular example would be more compelling if the real Iron Chefs didn't meticulously plan their menus. They know a list of the possible "secret" ingredients in advance and plan for all of them. Plus they have nearly unlimited access to all manner of supporting ingredients (notice how often truffles and shark fin show up in IC dishes?).

Cyril Morong writes:

In one of his books, Israel Kirzner said something like "entreprneurs discover opportunities for economic proft by leading a life of purposeful action."

david writes:

Note the implication that entrepreneurs should be (for example) insensitive to taxes that would only apply once their businesses become larger.

The "entrepreneur's don't plan" meme is old among a certain variety of leftist.

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