With SpaceX’s successful (or unsuccessful demanding on what happens!) launch of a new super-powered rocket, all eyes are on Elon Musk.
Like all great innovators, Musk is achieving two things at the same time.
First he’s creating new technologies, businesses and categories-- and massive new wealth as a result.
Awesome. That’s what entrepreneurs are supposed to do. But, his role in our world is bigger than any one new thing he’s creating.
Elon Musk stands as an icon of possibility.
He has the audacity to dream big. And now, more than ever, he’s reminding Americans what can be achieved when you “swing for the fences.”
American entrepreneurship is in a lot of trouble. Never has the U.S.A. needed a legendary entrepreneur like Elon to show us the way.
We need to be reminded that it is okay to, as my friend, “the most powerful woman in startups”, Ann Miura-Ko says, “have BIG dreams.”
Yes, that’s right. And I couldn’t believe it either. Even though entrepreneurs are celebrated as rockstars, the data shows entrepreneurship in America dying.
Making matters worse: “Millennials are on track to be the least entrepreneurial generation in the past 100 years.”
￼This is a giant fucking problem.
Where are the breakthroughs and jobs going to come from?
Sure; government, universities, think tanks and big business all play important roles in our forward progress, but new businesses and small businesses are seminal.
Entrepreneurs build our world.
New businesses and small businesses are pivotal drivers of human innovation, economic growth, and jobs.
The U.S. Small Business Administration says:
- companies with fewer than 500 employees account for 99.7% of all business in the US.
- 64%of net new private-sector jobs come from small business
- new/small businesses produce 16 times more patents per employee than large outfits.
Entrepreneurs are the people who take great risks to make great contributions.
Entrepreneurs are the people with the courage to stand in the face of no evidence that their idea will work, and go for it any way.
Entrepreneurs are the people who slay cynicism with dreams.
Which brings us back to Elon.
His greatest contribution is how he inspires people. Elon Musk is teaching us all how to take “crazy” ideas and make them real.
So regardless of the successes or failures Musk has, just like Edison, Ford or Jobs he’s showing us what’s possible.
He’s demonstrating us how entrepreneurship can move the world.