The Entrepreneurial Society Is A Vision Of The Future.

It’s easy to despair about the state and direction of our society. It feels overwhelmed by division, consumed by nastiness in politics, under attack from cyber technology and manipulative algorithms, and threatened by nation-state violence, governmental restrictions, crony capitalism, and the all-powerful pharma-industrial complex. To name just a few of the current – and worsening – threats.

It’s also easy – if you try – to conjure up an entirely different vision, one that is optimistic and positive. I call mine the entrepreneurial society, and I am working with many collaborators to realize it. 

Entrepreneurship is a function in society. And it’s also a role that many can play – there are no barriers to entry and no structural barriers to success. The function is to identify unmet needs – what people want and don’t currently have, what they wish for, circumstances with which they feel dissatisfied and would like to change. Entrepreneurs aim to meet these needs and bring the betterment that people want, in return for a profit. The profit is not just monetary; it includes psychic profit, such as pride in achievement, and a sense of meaning and purpose. There’s an ethic of service in entrepreneurship.

Think about a future in which entrepreneurship is the norm for society, where everyone devotes their commercial energies to serving others, whether as business owners and founders, or as collaborative teams, or as employees of entrepreneurial firms. An entrepreneurial society.

Here are some of the ways the entrepreneurial society will be an improvement.

The service ethic prevails: people’s energy channeled into making life better for each other.

Successful entrepreneurship requires, as a first principle, the exercise of empathy. Entrepreneurial business requires deep understanding of another’s wants, preferences, desires, biases, and motivations. To develop skill at empathy is to think about others’ points of view, their experiences, their mental models, how they see the world. There’s no judgment, simply a genuine effort at subjective understanding. “ How can I please this person? How can I make their life a little bit better?” is the operative motivation.

It’s the service ethic. When it prevails in society, we’ll be in a better place.

True Justice and Fairness.

Everyone possesses unique tacit knowledge. Everyone is endowed with imagination and creativity. Everyone is capable of thinking about new value for others. There are an infinite number of services that can be conceived of and generated in a service economy. 

True justice is when all the people are free to use their knowledge and creativity to serve others and profit from doing so. As they proceed along this pathway, they’ll get better and better at the front end – the empathy and imagining the better future – and at the back end – the results, the exchanges they make, the profit they realize. 

True fairness is when these entrepreneurs get to keep the fruits and profits of their endeavors, building up their private property, reinvesting in it in more productive capital, enhancing their ability to serve and to profit, experiencing business growth, and experiencing personal and private fulfillment. Life, liberty, and property are our natural rights, according to John Locke. Although the words were edited in the Declaration of Independence, to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, the principle remains. By owning, utilizing, strengthening, and growing our private property, we realize fulfillment in life. Entrepreneurship provides us the pathway.

Self-reliance, adaptability, and learning.

The entrepreneurial society will reverse one of the major tendencies in the current society, that of dependency. Entrepreneurship draws on self-reliance for drive and energy. Individuals and small teams are typically at the forefront of experimentation and innovation that results in new value for customers and economic growth for communities and the nation. They gather evidence, formulate hypotheses and explore alternatives via their own volition, not as a result of the direction of others. They make adjustments based on feedback loops, and they eagerly learn how to change and do better. 

This kind of initiative is frowned upon in today’s society. It’s seen as risky, and people should not have to take risks. They should be protected against risk with bailouts and other forms of redistribution. They should be compensated for error via welfare. But without risk and error, there is no discovery, no advance, no improvement. 

Dissipating power structures.

Entrepreneurship thrives on open competition. Entrepreneurs are rivals for customers, so they strive for continuous improvement in customer service and customer satisfaction. The consequence is rapid change and dynamism, and social structures that are adaptive and flexible in embracing change. Stodgy bureaucratically regimented hierarchies can not respond to these dynamics. Such bureaucracies are found especially in government, which will not be able to regulate entrepreneurs out of business, because they won’t be able to move fast enough. A similar fate will befall bureaucratic crony capitalist corporations, whose mania for defense of what they’ve got will be overwhelmed. The result will be a sweeping away of entrenched elite power structures, and greater economic freedom for all.

A non-political society.

The greatest benefit of the entrepreneurial society, and the biggest positive change versus what we experience today, will be depoliticization. Politics is divisive. Its goal is to get us to hate each other. Entrepreneurship is unifying. Its aim is mutual satisfaction, a happy seller and a happy buyer. 

Let’s teach everyone the entrepreneurial method. Let everyone start companies, grow companies, invest in companies, all with no thought of prediction. A middle class of business will emerge, defined not by income but by venturing. This middle class will produce more jobs and more enduring, more stable companies, embedded in strong communities, with greater well-being and less churn. The fruits of creativity take root in endurance and durability, and contribute to stability and the taking on of bigger challenges. Decade after decade, the middle class of business will generate value and produce wealth, employing lots of people and educating successive generations to take the entrepreneurial method with them into a better future.

Six Superior Characteristics Of The Entrepreneurial Society.

We live in a political society. Politicians and the bureaucrats whom they enable hold all the power. Most people despise them.

Why? Because of their role. They exist to argue over the division of the economic pie that others produce. Politicians despise production and elevate themselves over producers. The fact that they behave badly in the performance of their role merely exacerbates the disdain in which they are held; it is not the primary cause.

The producer role is played by entrepreneurs. That’s the economic term for those who monitor what politicians call (but never truly examine) the will of the people: what people want, what they need, what they prefer, how they feel, what pleases them, and what disappoints them. Entrepreneurs gather this information by listening. They process it through their empathy – the skill of imagining what it’s like to feel what others feel – and decide whether there is a business’s opportunity there. That depends on many variables – the intensity of the need, its durability (how long will it last if unfulfilled), the viability of assembling resources and a business plan to produce a good or a service to meet the need, the likelihood of people buying the solution from one entrepreneur versus another.


There are important human values at work here. There’s collaboration. People need entrepreneurs to find new ways to solve their problems or meet their needs. Entrepreneurs need customers to channel the market rewards they seek to keep their production going. This symbiosis is the essence of the market system, raising everyone’s boat through the collaboration of buying and selling.

Shared emotion.

There’s the animating emotion of wanting. Human beings act in a conscious way to improve their circumstances. They want something better than what they experience in the present. This is the energy that drives civilization all progress. Consumers want need fulfillment. Entrepreneurs want to feel the fulfillment of acting as the solution source. This is how mutual wants come into alignment in society. 


There is listening. There is none of that in politics of course. Yet it’s the core informational input into the entrepreneurial process. The first question in that process is, “What do I know?” Entrepreneurs need continuously updated information about the market, about trends, about preferences, about available options, about pricing, about competitors, and about a thousand other things. They get it through listening. It’s a humble mindset – not dictating or declaring or asserting, not jumping to conclusions, not arguing or contradicting, not wishful thinking, just listening. 


And there is the core entrepreneurial skill of empathy. How can we understand what others feel they need to make their lives better? We all have consciousness but we are not gifted with experiencing the consciousness of others. To be an entrepreneur, it’s necessary to overcome that cognitive barrier. How? It’s a mental modeling process. Entrepreneurs build a mental model of how others – customers – think and feel. It’s not their own mental model, so humility again comes into play – the humility of trying to understand and appreciate another’s point of view. It’s a kind of self-sacrifice – sacrificing one’s own ego in order to feel the way another person feels. 


In fact, sacrifice is fundamental to successful entrepreneurship. It takes mental sacrifice to understand others’ needs. Then it requires the sacrifice of time and resources in production to design, assemble and produce the goods and services which will become the value proposition to the customer. To serve others with economic offers and innovation is an ethic of devoting one’s present to the future satisfaction of customers. It’s for this sacrifice, when successful in the eyes of the customer, that the entrepreneur is rewarded. 


The result is an ever-increasing pool of value. In entrepreneurial economics, value is the customer experience that transpires when the offer made by the entrepreneur is successful in making the customer feel better. Value is a feeling, a good feeling. Entrepreneurs aim to generate value – only the customer can actually create it via their own experience. The more value the entrepreneur generates, the better the customer experience and the greater the ultimate reward to the entrepreneur. The mutuality is self-reinforcing. The whole society is raised up.

A Better Society.

Imagine what society would be like if it were entrepreneurial and not political. It would be characterized by the values of collaboration, emotional sharing, listening, empathy and sacrifice. It would be productive, because entrepreneurs always figure out how to generate more value with less input and fewer resources. It would be about a growing pie for all rather than a political fight over the division and redistribution of the pie. The entrepreneurial society would be much superior to the political society. Let’s work to create it.