Saturday, March 10, 2012

Dueling Entrepreneurs

When a technology is about to break out commercially, entrepreneurs get their competitive spirits up. They want to dominate the marketplace for the new and nifty. Inevitably, a handful of business savvy technologists carve out large segments of the market and stiff arm any upstart that has the audacity to invade their territory.  Before long, there is usually only two to five left standing. Except, they aren't exactly standing around idle ... these titans are gathering up arm's full of cash. Piles of money that mere mortals can't even comprehend.

Is it all really about money? Not a chance. It's the game. It's about winning, and money is just how the game is scored.

I could be talking about Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page or Sergey Brin, but I'm not. I'm researching the next Steve Dancy Tale, which will be titled The Return (Which is now available). The men who brought this thought to mind lived one hundred and fifty years ago. Today, technology entrepreneurs build their empires along the western seaboard, but during the mid-eighteenth century, they live in New York City and its environs. If you want to see how little has changed in the business of leveraging emerging technologies, read about Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse, Nikloa Tesla, and their contemporaries. Bringing electricity to the masses was as electrifying as anything this modern bunch is doing with computers, clouds, and tablets. You'll be startled at the parallels.

Steve Jobs
Bill Gates

George Westinghouse
Thomas Edison

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