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Entrepreneurship is often glorified. We’re constantly striving to prove the impact and importance resulting from the current global entrepreneurial movement. In the September 20th issue of the Economist, I read an article titled, “Instead of romanticizing entrepreneurship people should understand how hard their lives can be.” It goes on to describe the wild journey as “romantic as chewing glass” for some.

Having lived the self doubt, constant outside pressures, and penniless days myself, it’s pertinent for all of us to understand the importance of the early days and sacrifices entrepreneurs often make. The Economist’s article captures it perfectly:

“Would-be entrepreneurs need to have a more measured view of the risks involved before they start a business…but society also needs to have more respect for people who put their lives on the line to build something from nothing.”

The contrast between wanting to support/champion entrepreneurs and the dismal reality of what it really takes, is nothing short of a great debate. My good friend from The Kauffman Foundation, Dane Strangler, has taken this debate a step further. In his article, “You Can’t Scale What You Don’t Start”  he presents some of the scarier statistics and realities around the actual decrease in new firm creation in the United States. Strangler goes on to acknowledge that the value of society in job creation actually comes from only a handful of high-growth companies. If job creation is mostly coming from rapidly scaling companies… then why are we so fixated on helping more people just get started? 

Ultimately, there’s a fundamental truth here: nothing is more valuable to society than a culture which promotes entrepreneurship. I hope everyone takes the time to read through Dane Strangler’s article posted this week called, “You Can’t Scale What You Don’t Start”  


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Marc Nager Marc Nager
(@marcnager) Startups, everything outdoors, and Chief Community Officer at Techstars.